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Scientific, Instrument, Hourglass, Sand Glass, Very Large


Hourglass (Sandglass)
American: Mid 20th century
Maple wood, partly ebonized, tinted yellow glass
23.75 inches high; 11 inches diameter at ends

Available for prop rental or purchase; please inquire.

Oversized hourglass of typical form, in the Biedermeier taste. It has three baluster turned maple supports with ebonized highlights, and round ends with molded ebonized edges, enclosing a central yellow-tinted hourglass. The two hourglass sections are joined by a partly ebonized central ring. The hourglass in its stand rests on either end on three ebonized wooden disk feet.

Product description continues below.


The invention of the hourglass is attributed to an 8th-century monk in Chartres, France, with the marine sandglass appearing as early as the 14th century. In earlier examples the bulbs were connected with a material such as putty or a hardened wax, bound in leather, linen or string. From about 1720, the two bulbs were welded together over a brass bead drilled with a hole, often still bound in leather. From around 1760, the glass was blown in one piece (with the sand inserted in the cooled end before sealing it). Ships would use the glasses to measure time at sea on a given navigational course. The invention of clocks and watches largely superseded the practical need for hourglasses.

Condition:  Generally very good overall.


“Marine Sandglass.” Wikipedia. 26 March 2015. (24 April 2014).

Pope-Hennessey, John et al. The Encyclopedia of Antiques. New York: Greenwich House, 1982. p. 298.

Additional information


20th Century