Shepherd’s sundial

Solar pocket watch

The pocket sundial was widely used in Alpine regions of Slovenia. In Velika planina in northern Slovenia it was used till World War II. Distinguished from other examples of pocket sundials in Europe, the sundials carved by the Slovenian shepherds called "planšarji" demonstrate a high level of culture in everyday life of common people.

  Slovenian shepherds made a wooden pocket-size sundial, carved as a small plate the size of a palm and the shape of half-moon in a semi-circle. They denoted hours by means of grooves. Progression of time was adjusted by means of 13 drilled holes. A peg was placed into the central hole, which in sunlight cast shadow onto the plate. Every fortnight the peg was moved by one hole. Such sundials were still being used before World War II, while the last producers after the war have preserved this craft into our days.

Handling Instructions

Take the sundial by the rope, press it against your chest to steady it and turn yourself towards the sun. Tne shadow from the peg will fall onto the dial marked in Roman and Arabic numerals. A.M. time is marked on the base plate and P.M. time on the projected edge. The initial position of the peg is defined by comparing the time with your watch. Every fortnight the peg should be moved by one hole.