The first hourglass or sand timer is said to be invented in the 8th century AD by a French Monk called Liutprand. By the 14th century the hourglass was revolutionised to become a measure of time first appearing in European ship inventories. It was deemed an ideal clock for ocean travel as waves didn’t affect its accuracy.
If you think your job is boring, spare a thought for history’s Ship’s Page whose job it was to simply turn the hourglasses and restart the timer on board their assigned vessel so the Captain could record times for the ship’s log.
As monotonous as the Page’s duties may have been, the history of the hourglass is anything but boring. In fact it is one of the most historically-rich chronometers (or time measuring devices) still used today. “Like the sands through the hourglass, so too are the Days of our Lives” has been scorched into contemporary pop culture’s vocabulary, and some of it’s icon’s like Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian actually embody the counting instrument with their curvy ‘hourglass physiques’. And after centuries service as nautical keeper and teller of time it’s no wonder it should be such an intrinsic part of lives. Yet more importantly the hourglass has played a crucial role in the very founding of our modern world when it was used as a vital tool of exploration to assisting those brave trailblazers who sailed the oceans discovering all corners of the world and all the strange wonders of our round planet that had previously been thought of as flat!
Vintage World’s beautiful, hand crafted hourglasses are far removed from the common examples you find being used in the kitchen to time an egg being cooked or the board-game timer from Yahtzee or Boggle. They are a small piece of history that can rest proudly on anyone’s desk or mantle piece. With a hand-created frame of either steel alloy or varnished ensconcing the bulbs of the hourglass through which the proverbial sand runs, the antique finish and nod to nautical and chronometric history of the Vintage World Hourglass collection make for special and personal Objet’s de Arte anybody with good taste would love to receive as a gift for any occasion. Or even as a gift for no occasion at all.