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 and a salutary reminder of the inexorable passage of time. 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.
The location of the sundial in your garden is an important factor if you are looking for accuracate time telling. In that case a sundial needs to be located in full sunlight throughout the day.
If the aesthetics of the sundial are the main requirement and time telling is less important, then a sundial can go anywhere.
Accurate time telling
A well made sundial can be very accurate; and the larger the sundial the more accurate it becomes. But sundial time is slightly different to clock time due to natural irregularities in the path of the shadow cast on a sundial. The difference between sundial time and clock time varies throughout the year, averaging out at four minutes.
In the UK, David Harber calibrates sundials to GMT. In other countries, sundials will tell the time for your local time zone.
Vertical sundials are a little different. Ideally wall mounted sundials in the Northern hemisphere should face as close to South as possible, thereby showing the time for the maximum number of hours. But as David Harber makes vertical sundials for the orientation of individual walls, East facing wall sundials are able to tell the time in the morning, while vertical sundials facing West can tell the time in the afternoon and evening hours.
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.
In the Garden
With its simple lines, David Harber's interpretation of the classic 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.
For accurate time telling, sundials need to be precisely positioned and aligned. Our team of installers is expert at securely installing all manner of sundials in a wide range of locations. Installation is included in the price for sundials installed in mainland UK. For overseas, detailed instructions are provided.