Garden Statue with Sundial Artist: John van Nost I (Flemish, ca. 1655–1710)


European Art

Not on view

Bronze, cast lead, and cement


base: 12 3/4 × 19 1/2 × 19 1/2 in. (32.39 × 49.53 × 49.53 cm)
63 1/2 × 33 1/4 × 26 7/8 in. (161.29 × 84.46 × 68.26 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Ganson G. Depew, B.A. 1919, Clarence W. Bowen, B.A. 1873, Henry King Smith, B.A. 1898, E. Byrne Hackett, Hon. M.A. 1914, and R. Eden Dickson, Esq.

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Commissioned by Elihu Yale (1649–1721), Wrexham, Wrexham County Borough, Wales, probably about 1708 [see note 1]; by descent to his daughter, Catherine Yale, Lady Guilford of Glemham Hall (1685–1715), and his son-in-law, Dudley North, Lord Guilford of Glemham Hall (1684–1730), Little Glemham, Suffolk, England, by 1721; probably by descent within the family to Charlotte Maria Dickson, Lady North of Glemham Hall (née Charlotte Maria Eden, 1831–1909), Little Glemham, Suffolk, England [see note 2]; by descent to her son, Reginald Eden Dickson, Esquire of Eden Lodge (1862–1931), Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, 1909; partially sold through Brick Row Book Shop, New Haven, Conn., to Clarence Winthrop Bowen (1852–1935), Ganson Goodyear Depew (1866–1934), Edmond Byrne Hackett (1879–1953), and Henry King Smith (1877–1948), New Haven, Conn., 1922 [see note 3]; given to Yale University, New Haven, Conn., 1922

Note 1: The date of 1708 inscribed on the face of the sundial suggests this object was commissioned around or just before then.

Note 2: Charlotte Maria Dickson’s first husband was Dudley North (1829–1860), descendant of Francis North (1637–1685). The latter was a cousin of Dudley North (1684–1730), Catherine Yale’s husband who acquired Glemham Hall around 1709. The eldest child and first son of Catherine Yale and Dudley North, also named Dudley, died in 1764 without living heirs. Yale and North’s eldest daughter, Anne Hebert (née Anne North, 1708–1789), succeeded her brother and left the estate to Dudley Long North (1748–1829), son of her younger sister, Mary Long (née Mary North, 1715–1770). When Dudley Long North also died without heirs, the estate reverted to the descendants of the abovementioned Francis North. The estate thereafter became the property of Frederick George North, 8th Earl of Guilford (1876–1949), grandson of Charlotte Maria Dickson.

Note 3: Eyres (2011) erroneously states that the sundial was sold in 1909. The Yale Daily News (1937) reports that the object “had been sought by alumni for fifteen years, and it was only when the Yale estate at Wrexham passed by inheritance into a different branch of the distinguished Welsh family that the heirs could be induced to part with it.” The Yale Alumni Weekly (1922), in announcing the gift of the sundial, identifies Reginald Eden Dickson, the son of Charlotte Maria Dickson and her second husband, Alexander George Dickson (1834–1889), as having sold the sundial and, at the same time, as “himself one of the donors.”
  • Elizabeth Kuebler-Wolf, "'Born in America, in Europe bred, in Africa travell’d and in Asia wed’: Elihu Yale, Material Culture, and Actor Networks from the Seventeenth Century to the Twenty-First," Journal of Global History 11 (2016), 334–35, fig. 5
  • Esther Chadwick, Meredith Gamer, and Cyra Levenson, Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Center for British Art, 2014), 10, 12-13, 41, fig. 1
  • Roger Bowling, "Sundials and Slavery," British Sundial Society Bulletin 25, no. 4 (2013), 35, fig. 1
  • Patrick Eyres, "The Blackamoor and the Georgian Garden: A study of garden statuary in the contexts of commerce and empire, with particular reference to Hampton Court, Melbourne Hall and Wentworth Castle (among numerous other sites)," New Arcadian Journal 69 (2011), 18, 76, 94
  • Roger Bowling, "Sundial Supporters Revisited," British Sundial Society Bulletin 9, no. 3 (2007), 125
  • "Yale Sundial Removed for Repair Work," New Haven Evening Register (November 10, 1949),
  • Hiram Bingham III, Elihu Yale: The American Nabob of Queen Square (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1939), 307
  • "The Elihu Yale Sun Dial," Yale Alumni Weekly (October 27, 1922), 153–54
  • "Glemham Hall, Suffolk, a Seat of the Earl of Guilford," Country Life (1910), 25, ill
  • Lawrence Weaver, English Leadwork: Its Art & History (London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1909), 161
  • William Richard Lethaby, Leadwork: Old and Ornamental and for the Most Part English (London: MacMillan Company, 1893), 107
Object copyright

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.