Diptychs of Diptych Sundials



Like “Drawing Hands,” the lithograph by M. C. Escher featuring one hand drawing another, I thought it would be interesting to create diptych photo collages using images of diptych sundials. Since I don’t have access to a collection of diptych sundials, I decided to take advantage of the laws related to intellectual property that allow liberal use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes: I repurposed several photos of diptych sundials from the National Maritime Museum for a mini-lesson on diptychs and diptych sundials. The diptychs (shown above) were created using Diptic app.


According to the Apple OS X “Dictionary” widget, a diptych is:

  1. a painting, esp. an altarpiece, on two hinged wooden panels that may be closed like a book.
  2. an ancient writing tablet consisting of two hinged leaves with waxed inner sides.

The British Sundial Society Glossary definition of a diptych sundial is as follows:

a portable (pocket) dial in which a vertical and horizontal dial are hinged together, and a common cord gnomon running between them also ensures that they open to a right angle [90 degrees]. [Diptych sundials are] latitude specific.

Related Resources:

Editor’s Note: I currently serve as chairperson of the North American Sundial Society (NASS) Education Committee. Educators interested in exploring ways to use sundials to enhance and/or enrich classroom instruction are encouraged to contact me.

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