This cryptic outdoor timepiece alludes to the seafaring ancestry of the Burghley family, in whose gardens the timepiece is located.
The hourglass pedestal bears 12 icons which correspond with each passing hour. They correlate with specific stories relating to members of the family including Lord Burghley, English statesman and friend to Queen Elizabeth I.
Through the glass spyhole in the pedestal, icons are revealed as they wax and wane. It is up to the viewer to interpret how it corresponds to the cryptic “timescale” configuration of copies on the pedestal side.
As with an old marine hourglass, the passing hour is described by the hourglass, the pouring sand and curious movement becoming at once engaging, delightful and distracting, and completing this puzzle in time.
The ring surrounding the hourglass comprises a stainless steel casing and concealed bronze rack gear which is advanced by a rotating pinion. Copper panels for the base have been treated to accelerate the natural ageing or verdigris process, lending them a sense of history.
Though the moving parts are not intended to show time to the exact minute, they do nevertheless keep accurate time overall thanks to the self-correcting power failure back-up system.