GAUDIUM SUB SOLE
Joy / Delight / Pleasure Beneath The Sun
A storage space for sundial inscriptions, and for the less sophisticated category of mottos.
I am a sundial, and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch
The title for this blog came to me while I was considering how best to make use of a growing store of photos of medieval and other sundials. I checked my Latin, checked that the phrase is unique online, and pressed on.
I MARK THE PASSING HOUR AS THE SHADOWS COME AND GO
SHERBORNE . DORSET
GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
ST PETER & ST PAUL. CLARE . SUFFOLK 1790
LIFE’S BUT A WALKING SHADOW
MALMESBURY HOUSE . THE CLOSE . SALISBURY 1749
Detailed post HERE
LIFE PAS’S LIKE A SHADOW
The motto uses Suffolk dialect. Full details about this dial HERE
Hard to distinguish the exact detail, but this – or something similar – means ‘I serve the Times’
FUGIT HORA ORA
THE BOOK OF SUN-DIALS
ORIGINALLY COMPILED BY THE LATE MRS ALFRED GATTY
NOW ENLARGED AND RE-EDITED BY H. K. F. EDEN AND ELEANOR LLOYD
NON NISI COELESTI RADIO
The drawing of a dial on the cover of the Cambridge edition of The Book of Sun-Dials by Mrs Margaret Gatty, featured in the Dial Book section HERE. The rather strange-seeming motto (it is very rare to see the word ‘radio’ in its original usage) in archaic translation is Nought save by a ray from Heaven. The location of the dial is given as Haydon Bridge, Northumberland).
LUX POST UMBRAM
KIRKANDREWS-on-ESK . CUMBRIA
Commemorative dial on church tower, replacing clock – FULL POST HERE
UT UMBRA SIC VITA
ALL SAINTS . DEWLISH . DORSET
BRATTON . WILTS . ST JAMES THE GREAT 1801
The date is split by the motto: 18 ….. 01
UT VITA FINIS VITA
CHELSEA OLD CHURCH . LONDON
The dial below is, strictly, a modern dial. However it is a faithful restoration of the original of 1692. The church was flattened by bombs in 1941. My parents were married here the previous year. The neatly-rhyming motto Ut Vita Finis Ita seems (pace MG but mis-dated) to be unique:
|1539.||UT VITA FINIS ITA. 1652. As the life is so is its end.On the tower of Chelsea Old Church. The dial has lately been repaired, and also the brick tower. Sir Thomas More lies buried in the church.|
Let Others Tell of Storms and Showers
I Only Count Your Sunny Hours
This is a modern mass-produced dial in various finishes, with an historic link to 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 doubtless gives pleasure to many as a garden feature. I have seen it listed online as if genuinely from 1767 (and at a competitive price).
COM MES SOL FA MES BE ESCRIC
Catalan, meaning roughly When it is sunny, I write (show the time) well. This rather charming inscription was apparently added around 2000 by the village pastor.
DE LABOR SOLARIS
TOURETTE LEVENS, FRANCE
Tourette Levens, a village near Nice. Undated but modern – lacking only an MM to be a millennial dial. Plain, simple, with letters / numbers presumably (and if so, pleasingly) cut by hand. A slightly bent gnomon. Sadly, behind bars when I saw it.
‘From the Sun’s Labour’. Variations of this motto exist, the closest being Pope John Paul II’s ‘De Labore Solis’. There are various religious speculations attached to this phrase and similar phrases, but not pursued by me
TANT ICI PASSERENT . LE TEMPS PASSE . NOUS PASSONS
One of several sundials at this fine Church. It translates roughly as So much (time) has passed here. Time passes . We pass. but sounds better in the original.
CORNUBIAE HORTOS AMABANT
A charming memorial sundial in a lovely setting: A Couple (who) Loved Gardens
ST MARY . BUCKNELL . SHROPS
1712 seems unlikely, and the motto – as spelled – is not found elsewhere (and not in the comprehensive MG list). A pleasing design and nice coloration.
OUR DAYS ON THE EARTH ARE BUT A SHADOW
ST PETER AD VINCULA . BROAD HINTON . WILTS
The dial with its rather sombre motto was presumably placed on the porch during late C19 restoration. It is slightly angled for accuracy.
TIME LIKE AN EVER ROLLING STREAM
Millennium Dial . Fulham Road . London
SOL NOS ALIOS UMBRA
SÉES . NORMANDY . FRANCE
A modern dial on the facade of the Musée départemental d’Art Religieux. A somewhat selfish motto Sol nos alios umbra: ‘Pour nous le soleil, pour les autres l’ombre’ / For us, sunshine; for everyone else, shade.
YVOIRE . LAC LÉMAN . FRANCE
VIGILATE ET ORATE
ST STEPHEN . CHARLTON MUSGROVE . SOMERSET
A dial dated 1916 set into the apex of the porch with the inscription Vigilate et Orate (Watch and Pray). The dial stone is slightly canted and the footing of the gnomon is on the 11 line for accuracy.
MULIER AMICTA SOLE
A modern tableau of 5 dials from medieval to modern. The inscription on the central dial MULIER AMICTER SOLE means ‘Woman Clothed by the Sun’ and references an account in the Book of Revelations. You can find out more HERE