David Harber Shares his passion for Sundials
with Her Majesty the Queen of England
David Harber shared his passion for sundials with Her Majesty the Queen at the 75th Anniversary of Goodenough College, London.
Her Majesty asked David several questions about his armillary sphere sundial which was chosen by Goodenough College to commemorate its anniversary.
The Queen, who is Patron of the College, unveiled the sundial on the 10th November 2006.
“Her Majesty was either very well briefed on the subject - or she had a sound understanding of the art of gnomonics” said David. “ I explained to her that it is the shadow cast by the gnomon - the central rod running through all armillary spheres - onto the hour band beneath, that allows a carefully positioned sundial to tell the time”.
Goodenough College chose to mark the occasion with an armillary sphere sundial because of its reference to time and space — apt for a College that aims to improve international tolerance and understanding. The College has over 620 postgraduate students from more than seventy countries and is a leading residential centre for international postgraduate students in London.
Goodenough College is not the first academic institution to favour David Harber. More than ten Oxbridge colleges feature garden sundials from the company. St Paul's school in London and Stowe School in Buckinghamshire also have armillary spheres in their grounds.
The sundial is embellished with numerous details relevant to Goodenough College including this engraved quotation from the bible:
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” Proverbs 24.3 & 4
The latitude and longitude of the College are also engraved on the armillary sphere, as are the true bearing and distance to Sydney, Pretoria, Beijing, New Delhi, Ottawa and New York - cities with which Goodenough College has a particular association. Also engraved are the college motto, wording from its crest and a commissioning statement. The Portland stone plinth was also hand letter cut to commemorate the occasion.
The classical design of the armillary sphere was rendered contemporary through the use of surgical stainless steel.