Feeds

Fourteenth century timekeeper turns up in Queensland

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.