Feeds

Fourteenth century timekeeper turns up in Queensland

What was a bit of brass to a child is a lot of brass to Bonhams

Security for virtualized datacentres

The second-oldest known British scientific instrument in existence is going to auction next month after spending decades in a farm shed in Queensland.

The “equal hour horary quadrant” – a timepiece for calculating time of day from the sun – is dated 1396, carries the badge of Richard II, and seems to have ended up in Australia via New Zealand after being found sometime in the 19th century in northern England by an ancestor of its current owner.

Its owner, Christopher Becker – an antiques dealer – says he found the object in a “bag of old pipe fittings” on the family farm in the 1970s, somewhere it may have been for as long as 20 years.

“I did take it to the Brisbane Museum with my father,” Becker told ABC 702 Sydney presenter Richard Glover. “They thought it was an astrolabe … and they weren’t all that excited about it”. So he continued keeping the object with him as a keepsake.

Last year, however, Becker read an article on the Internet, “Richard II, John Holland and Three Medieval Quadrants” (Silke Ackerman and John Cherry) that identified the real significance of the item for him, and he contacted the British Museum (each of the quadrants discussed in the article is younger than Beckers, dating from 1398, 1399 and around 1400).

With the item identified, Bonhams expects the item to sell for around £150,000 to £200,000.

According to Bonhams, one of the earliest administrative records in the UK based on equal-hours timekeeping refers to the abdication of Richard II “at about the ninth stroke of the clock”. The only older piece is the “Chaucer astrolabe” from 1326, which is kept at the British Musem. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.