MISDIALS

Being a collection of dials that disappoint or dismay. These will mainly be ostensibly ‘serious’ modern dials either inherently questionable, located in inadvisable locations, or lacking the respect due. I’m hoping there won’t be many. NB this is not a mocking gallery for perfectly inoffensive garden centre dials, novelty dials, or dials that some might consider a bit tasteless.

A SLATE DIAL TO SLATE

Take one majestic ruined castle in central France (as partially restored by Viollet-le-Duc), and simply add a cMM slate sundial of rather unattractive (though carefully executed, seen in close-up) oblong design, fix it to a medieval wall with badly-chosen B&Q screws and (are those corks rings?) you get the dial shown below. The Fleur de Lys doesn’t add much. I don’t know enough about gnomon design, save to say this one just looks strange.

This dial was the most prominent feature on a fine expanse of stonework. Viollet violated, perhaps.

UBIQUITOUS? (Y) / INIQUITOUS? (N)

I photographed this dial ages ago, wondering hard about the design, the date shown and the motto font but perhaps quite liking the mossy setting. I’ve just rediscovered it among my photos (wherever it was taken) and looked up the motto. This leads to lots of images of a mass-produced dial in various finishes, all made in 1767. The motto, well-known in this or slightly different forms, reads Let Others Tell of Storms and Showers : I Only Count Your Sunny Hours. It’s a perfectly serviceable dial and must give pleasure to thousands as a garden feature. Ubiquitous, not quite right somehow, but not iniquitous.