Armillary Sphere

David Harber’s fascination with space and the solar system inspired him to create the astronomically intriguing Armillary. It is based on a design from c. 250 AD which has been embellished and evolved over time. Harber views sundials as a marriage between art and science; the scientific element of the design cannot be compromised. However, Harber enjoys converting the maths into an elegant piece so at a point the sundial becomes sculptural and departs from its original conception.

The Armillary Sphere is one of David Harber’s earliest and most appreciated works and is enjoyed by several clients around the world. As well as being a fully functioning sundial, this handmade piece is crafted and calculated to a specific location making it a highly accurate time piece. Each dial can be personalised with engravings including a motto or quotation, commissioning statement, the house name and latitude and longitude, children’s names and dates of birth and the distance and bearing to up to five locations around the world.

This bronze example includes the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer and the Polar Circles. The sundial can also be made in polished stainless steel or brass. All spheres are available in 60cm, 70cm, or 80cm diameter, other sizes are available on request.

If you are interested in purchasing this piece, or have any questions about the artist or work of art, please email or telephone Grant Ford Ltd. We would be delighted to help you.

Grant Ford Ltd is an independent business and we pride ourselves on our ethos of trust and responsibility to both the artists we represent and the purchaser. We work closely with both parties in a spirit of mutual cooperation.

About the Artist

David Harber is based at his workshops in Aston Upthorpe, Oxfordshire, nestled in the shadow of a Bronze Age hill fort. Harber set up his family-run company over twenty years ago when they began to produce sundials which, in various forms, are still very much part of the business. However, their vision broadened to include innovative sculptural designs which are visible around the world in private and public gardens. Prestigious projects include sculptures in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Liberty Center mixed use development in Cincinnati, the Al-Rawdha Palace in Bahrain and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France. In 2016, the company was honoured with The Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding overseas growth while remaining committed to British design and craftsmanship.

Harber views his sculptures as a marriage of art and science and sees the design and creation of the pieces as a constant education and fantastic journey. He comments, ‘When I make my sculpture, I am an engineer. I want to design something that will have its integrity and still convey the same message with the same dignity in two, three, four hundred years…. I want to make things that are deep within me, that need to come out.’ Always excited by the freedom of pure sculpture Harber believes that ‘to transcend time, that is our legacy.’ Harber works in association with his clients so that each piece is custom-made to suit the setting so that the sculpture synchronizes with the mood of the environment, either making a bold statement or harmonising with natural or man-made elements.

Harber has added the element of water to many of his sculptures which creates movement and a sense of energy and he is always aware of how lighting of, or within, his sculptures can add different dimensions and alter effects and atmosphere.

All the sculptures can be customised in a range of materials, sizes and finishes.

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