Garden Sundials

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David Harber's Sundials

David Harber is probably better known for its sculptures nowadays. But sundials were where the company started. And sundials, time and all things celestial remain a passion for David Harber, who still regards himself as very much a sundial maker at heart.

What type of sundial?

David Harber makes three main types of sundials: armillary sphere sundials; vertical sundials which attach to a wall; and traditional horizontal sundials. All three types have a long history dating back to ancient times so owning any of these sundials is a great way to connect with the past. The company also makes a few unusual sundials which are as much sculpture as time pieces.

The right sundial for you depends on what you are looking to achieve in your garden. Are you looking for accurate time telling? Is traditional style an important consideration? Do you want a big impressive feature? The location of the sundial in your garden is another factor.

Accurate time telling

If the traditional form of the sundial is the main attraction and time telling is less important, a sundial can go anywhere – sun, shade, and anywhere in between.

Otherwise, yes, sundials do need the sun to tell the time and your sundial will need a sunny spot for at least some of the day. And it will not be possible to read the time at night or when the sun is obscured.

Vertical sundials are even more demanding. A wall sundial needs a South facing or near South facing wall to show the correct time.

The time shown on all our sundials will be accurate to within a few minutes. All our sundials correct for deviations between sundial time and clock time caused by natural irregularities in the path of the shadow cast on a sundial.

In the Garden

With its simple lines, David Harber's interpretation of the traditional armillary sphere offers a contemporary statement of classical values that makes a powerful impression. The impact is traditional in bronze or brass, sharply contemporary when an armillary sundial is made from stainless steel, but always dramatic enough for the armillary to feature as a garden centrepiece.

By contrast, the appeal of an horizontal sundial is more subtle, evoking a strong sense of history and blending into the landscape around. It is also a more affordable piece.

Installing Sundials

For time telling, sundials need to be precisely positioned. Installation is included in the price for sundials installed in the UK. For overseas, detailed instructions are provided.

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