Sundial on the Maison de Bardonecchia, Vallouise

Très beau cadran réalisé par le maître cadranier Zarbula pour la Marquise de Bardonnèche.

Very beautiful sundial created by the Master sundial maker Zarbula for the Marquis of Bardonecchia.

In that year of 1840, Zarbula made 8 sundials in the Briançon and Queyras areas, a considerable amount.
Interesting for many reasons, this very handsome sundial, signed with the initials Z.G.F., is typical of the Master’s work: a trompe l’oeil frame, presence of the equatorial line, imaginary or comical animals.

The initials of the person who ordered the work, the Marquis of Bardonecchia, unusually are inscribed on the dial’s table. The Marquis insisted that the motto “In lucem omnia vana. Vita fugit sicut umbra” (In the light everything is vain. Life flees like a shadow.) be inscribed on the dial and it is said that the Master, highly respected and heeded, would have liked to add the second part of the saying “Coelum regula. Forte tua” (It is Heaven that decides. More powerful than you.)

The translation of these sayings, in Latin mixed with patois, are open to interpretation as are the interpretations of iconography.