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Box of 5 balls


This object consists of a cardboard box containing five balls of a similar size (about 11cm in diameter).

Three of these (2019.ast.118.1-3) are of the same size, quite heavy and apparently made of wood. However, they appear to be weighted, as they are surprisingly heavy for their size. One, 2019.ast.118.1, is wholly painted gold, with a darker ring painted on indicating two poles. The other two, 2019.ast.118.2-3, are half painted gold, half black, with rings at two poles, 2019.ast.118.3 can be distinguished as it is painted more black than gold.

The fourth ball, 2019.ast.118 made of hollow metal, is of the same size as the others, although dented in places. At two poles, it has two holes punched through the metal.

The fifth ball, 2019.ast.118.5, also wood, is slightly smaller than the others, painted blue-grey and is off-spherical, slightly (but not precisely) oblate in shape. It has holes that are close to, but not precisely at, its poles. It has a circular plug on one side which appears to have been glued in place.

The balls are nestled in pieces of ethafoam and tissue paper. All of them are worn across their whole surface.

Accession Number: 2019.ast.118.1-5 (DAA-0010)

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Wood, Metal: Copper Alloy


On the address label of the cardboard box (apparently unrelated to the contents): “Hall Photography Supplies
TO: U. of T.
Dunlop Observatory

Handwritten on one side of the cardboard box: “KK”

Handwritten on the other side of the cardboard box: “PLS”

Dimensions (cm):

Box: Length = 31, Width = 21, Height = 15.7


Unknown. It is possible that these five items have different uses; it is especially possible that the metal ball is from a separate context than the wooden ones.


Good: The wooden balls are intact, although cracked across their surfaces. Their paint surfaces are very worn and scratched in places. This this particularly true of 2019.ast.118.5, on which the paint has been entirely worn off close to one of its poles.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Unknown

Date of Manufacture: 20th Century


This box was moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2009, upon the sale of the observatory. They were stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: