Armillary Spheres

David Harber’s interpretation of the traditional armillary sphere is a contemporary statement of classical valuesScroll for more
Stainless steel armillary sphere with a view

We have only positive things to say in terms of your working with us. Informative, prompt, understanding of our – ahem – areas where we lacked knowledge. And of course, it looks great even despite the impact of climate change!

Utah, USA

Nearly two millennia ago, Ptolemy, the Greco-Roman astronomer and mathematician, envisaged the armillary sphere as a geocentric model for the motions of the heavenly bodies. Today, David's fascination with astronomy and cosmology is reflected in his rendering of celestial longitudes and latitudes in precision engineered hoops of brass, bronze and mirror-polished stainless steel.

Armillary spheres lend themselves to engravings of personal resonance: mottoes, quotations, names, dates, commissioning statements, distances and direction to locations significant to the client can all added.

All spheres are available in a 24", 28" or 31" diameter. Other larger sizes available on request.

Photo credit: Jo Thompson Landscape & Garden Design

Armillary sundial on a modern plinth


As well as being strong and highly durable, a bronze verdigris patina on these armillary sundials gives the impression of timelessness.

Included as standard with the bronze armillary sphere:

  • Extra rings marking the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer and the North and South Polar Circles
  • A calendar showing the progression of the months and a client-specified date
  • Arrowhead and tail

Pricing starts at $17,421 including engravings

Bronze sundial in classic garden setting
Traditional armillary sphere sundial in a contemporary garden

Stainless steel

Made from marine-grade stainless steel, these armillary spheres are mirror-polished to ensure high visibility and lifelong brilliance.

Additional features like a calendar or an arrowhead and tail can be added.

Pricing starts at $21,730 including engravings

Metal armillary sphere on a plinth
Brass armillary sphere in a beautiful lavender garden


A lighter material than bronze, brass has a real sense of weight and a patina that matures well, darkening with age.

A calendar, an arrowhead and tail, and other additional features can be added to brass armillary spheres.

Pricing starts at $10,225 including engravings

Brass armillary sundial by the sea

The Armillary Sphere can be made from bronze (either antique tan or with a Verdigris patina applied), 316 marine grade mirror polished stainless steel or brass.

A personalised sundial creates a beautiful gift to mark an important anniversary or memorialise a person. Dials can be engraved with words and phrases of personal resonance, such as mottoes and quotations; family names and dates of birth; commissioning statements; house names with latitude and longitude; and the distances and direction to locations significant to the client.

The sphere can have rings representing the tropics of Capricorn, Cancer and the Polar Circle, an arrowhead and tail and a calendar band can also be included to highlight a memorable date of the year. The bronze Armillary includes these adornments as standard.

The Armillary Sphere is available in a 24", 28" or 31" diameter, however other larger sizes are available on request.

To work as a functioning time piece, the Armillary should be in a position that benefits from direct sunlight throughout as much of the day as possible. If the Armillary is not being fixed to an existing plinth and David Harber are supplying one, the client must provide a suitable, level, concrete pad foundation for the plinth to be fixed to. The Armillary is fixed to the plinth with a resin fixed bolt and then aligned for it to read the correct time. Alignment requires sunlight, in its absence, clear instructions will be provided.

We can supply a variety of stone plinths at an additional cost, although these can also be sourced separately should a local stone, for example, be required.

Installation and delivery are included in the price for UK commissions and for overseas, shipping quotes can be obtained and charged at cost.

David Harber Armillary Spheres are neither lacquered nor coated. To clean them, we would suggest the use of warm water and a soft cloth. We do not recommend the use of metal cleaner as this may scratch and dull the surface. The stainless-steel variant can be best cleaned with glass cleaner and a soft lint free cloth. Maintenance instructions will be issued on installation.


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