This sundial, titled ‘Timepiece’ was designed by Wendy Taylor and commissioned by Strand Hotels Limited in March 1973. It is our sundial of the month for March!
A steel sundial like a giant washer, on which the hours are marked with raised dots. It is supported on three chains and pierced by a gnomon or pointer designed to resemble a large dockyard nail, all of which spring from a single point.
A modern basic equinoctial sundial, or one aligned on the plane of the equator, it is an ‘upper’ equinoctial dial that shows the time only while the sun is north of the equator. Taylor has reduced the concept of the sundial to its most elemental.
Her selected site outside the Tower Hotel by Tower Bridge, London has made this one of the most prominent of London sculptures, and its subject reflects the proximity of the Greenwich meridian, so important for timepieces. It is significant in Taylor’s own development of large-scale public sculptures, particularly in her work with chains and industrial objects. It is also one of the earliest of the large public pieces created in the 1970s and initiated an on-going series of new sundials in public places.