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Antique Korean Sundial


Offered for sale is AN ANTIQUE KOREAN SUNDIAL, in well preserved condition, given it's age. The sundial, with compass (pointer missing0 is surrounded by 4 gem stones, 3 in ruby color and 1 in blue color, each of which are on top of the 4 leveling legs, with a level bubble centrally positioned, with scrolling of flowers and other scroll lines all around this fine collectable Korean sundial. The instrument has a folding hinged staff through which is a peep hole for focusing on sighting. Because of the age of this instrument (age unknown), much of the perimeter engraving has eroded away with time.

Dimensions: The instrument is 4" x 2 3/4" and the folding hinged staff is about 1 3'4" tall. The instrument stands about 3" tall.

Ref: Research on Korean Sundials, Fig 5(a). Research Paper by J. Astron. found at p: ISSN: 2093-5587; The Korean Space Science Society. Research Paper J. Astron. Space Sci. 27(2), 161-172 (2010) The Korean Space Science Society: A Study on the Sundials of the Kang Family of Jinju Sang Hyuk Kim1†, Ki-Won Lee2, and Yong Sam Lee

Basic Science Research Institute, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Korea 2Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Historical Astronomy Research Group, Daejeon 305-348, Korea 3Department of Astronomy and Space Science, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Korea.

>P>In this paper, the author investigate the sundials made by the Kang Family of Jinju in the later period of the Joseon dynasty in terms of their characteristics, functions and the manufacturing technique. One of the characteristics of these sundials is that the value of polar height (i.e., the latitude of Seoul), the name of manufacturer, 24 seasonal subdivisions and so forth are written on the surface. In particular, polar height is expressed as ‘37˚ 39′ 15′′’ in all 12 sundials examined in this study. To investigate the manufacturing technology in terms of astronomy, we analyze the positions of gnomon and of the lines corresponding to 24 seasonal subdivisions (season lines) and to each hour (hour lines). To verify the accuracy of the positions, we use a planar projection method.

That is, we obtain 2D images of the sundials using a camera or scanner, and compare these with astronomical calculations for the positions of gnomon and season/hour lines. We believe that this method will be very useful for the study of sundials preserved elsewhere.

It is well known that Yun Kang (1830-1898) and his younger brother, Geon Kang (1843-1909), manufactured several portable sundials. Yun Kang was an official who held the post of Mayor of Seoul. As Kim (2007a) pointed out, however, his father (I-O Kang) and uncle (I-Jung Kang) were also the manufacturers of an armillary clock in the early 19th century. We investigate the relics of the sundials made during the period from the early 19th century to the early 20th century, and find that they are closely related to the Kang Family of Jinju1. We present the parts of Yun Kang and Geon Kang from the Sebo (Detailed Genealogy of a Family) of th Family (Compilation Committee of the Sebo of the Jinju Kang 1an ancestral seat Family: Branches of Jukchang-gong2, Seolbong-gong, and Baekgak-gong 1987). We investigate physical characteristics and detailed functions of 12 sundials with an express statement so identify as the person of the Jinju Kang Family. Most are portable-type sundials, while are scaphe or plane type ones. On most sundials, the expression statements of the polar height (i.e., latitude of Seoul), the manufacturer, the lines of 24 seasonal subdivisions (season lines hereinafter) and 12 hours (hour lines hereinafter) and 24 directions were marked. In relation to the hour line, the 96 Gak (Division) method was used, and the line corresponding to 1 Sijin (2 hours in modern time) was subdivided into 8 or 4 intervals. We also analyze the positions of Yeongchim (a gnomon) and season/hour lines to examine an astronomical 2‘-gong’ means a title for a high officer.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. J. Astron. Space Sci. 27(2), 161–172 (2010)

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This product would make a wonderful addition to any scientific instrument or sundial collection when displayed in a prominent place, being a grand collectible item that would adorn any serious collector's prized scientific instrument and sundial accumulations, while showing a discriminating dedication for fine sundials and other scientific instrument items as well as a devotion to acquiring fine collectibles.

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  • Model: Antique Korean Sundial

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 12 February, 2014.

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