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It is thought the sundial was commissioned by Frances Wary of Glentworth as a gift to her future husband Sir George St Paul, Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1588, on their wedding day in 1585. The sundial is signed AR, dated and engraved with Sir George’s name in old English, Geo = Seyntpoll, together with a shield.

“This is an historically important find and it is remarkable that is has turned up. I’m sure there is a lot more of Augustine Ryther’s work that been completely lost,” said Oxford Professor Gerard Turner, an international expert in scientific experts.

The sundial was discovered some years ago buried in the earth at Glentworth by the vendor’s grandfather who was a farmworker there. Thomas Mawer & Sons auctioneer Clinton Slingsby is expecting a great deal of interest from museums and private collectors and bids between £3000 and £5000.