Modeled on an antique scientific instrument, this ornate brass case holds a working sundial and compass.
Nobody had a smartphone during the Renaissance. But the era’s geeks didn’t lack for cool, portable information devices. This one, for example: it's modeled after antique, 16th century "compendia"—small, scientific instruments with more than one function. Crafted with delicate, ornamental engraving, they were show-off items for aristocratics. Inside the ornate casing of this sturdy brass beauty, there’s a folding sundial mounted on a compass—and both of them work. History and astronomy buffs, and fans of steampunky artifacts, will love being surprised by this forerunner to the electronic gadget they have in their pocket.