“Butterfield” nautical sundial with folding gnomon and compass, silver

Object number : 

Signed: Butterfield, Paris 1663-1724

Michael Butterfield

1634/5-1724, manufacturer of mathematical, optical and scientific instruments, England and Paris

Lenghts: 7,7 cm


Detailed Description

Detailed information

Since around 1663 in Paris, he ran a workshop for precision instruments under the name Aux Armes d’Angleterre. The workshop was initially located in the Faubourg Saint-Germain district on rue Neuve-des-Fossés (1678), then on the Quai de l’Horloge (1691).

Butterfield built, among other things, surveying instruments, but was mainly known for his portable horizontal sundials with compass and o dial. In 1680, under the direction of Jean-Dominique Cassini, he created a planisphere for the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris.

Peter the Great visited the workshop in 1717 and ordered sundails made of gilded copper.

After Butterfield’s death, his student Jean Langlois continued the business until at least 1730.[2]

Butterfield comparison objects:


V&A Museum London                            Science Museum London