This small, finely made astrolabe is the fourth oldest known by Muhammad al-Battuti, a prolific maker from 18th century Morocco.
The diminutive, plain throne is typical of late Moroccan astrolabes. The mater is empty, except for two pairs of lightly engraved circular arcs orthogonal to each other. The rete is of the standard Western Islamic type and has 22 star pointers shaped like claws, with pierced circular bases. There are four plates, covering latitudes in Morocco, North Africa as well as Mecca and Medina. On the back of the instrument, in the upper half, the maker's signature, together with the date of construction of the instrument, are engraved within a narrow semicircular band: 'Made by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Battuti in the year 1134' (AH 1134 approximates to 1721-22 AD). The alidade is simple and devoid of markings. The sculpted peg and the wedge are original, the latter resembling a rhinoceros's head.
Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Battuti
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