Early time-telling instrument up for auction
One of the earliest known British scientific instruments in existence is expected to fetch at least £150,000 when it is sold at auction next month.
The 14th century time-telling device, which carries the badge of King Richard II, was unearthed in a shed in Queensland, Australia in the 1970s.
Known as an equal hour horary quadrant, it allowed its user to tell the approximate time of day based on the position of the Sun and the time of year.
The brass contraption – the second oldest dated British scientific instrument – is thought to have been discovered in the mid-1800s by an ancestor of its current owner.
It was passed down through his family who eventually emigrated to New Zealand and Australia, and was later uncovered by Christopher Becker in the mid-1970s, lurking in an old bag of pipe fittings in a shed on the family farm.
The trinket lived as a paperweight on his desk for decades until he took the decision to sell it at the Bonham’s Fine Clocks and Scientific Instrument Sale on December 13.