Product images of Astrolabe: dismounted obverse
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Astrolabe: dismounted obverse
This astrolabe has been attributed to al-Battuti as a result of its similarity to an instrument by him in the Linton Collection (IC no. 1062), dated AH1136. Moreover, the markings on the back are virtually identical to those on AST0532 (also by al-Battuti). However, the correspondence between the zodiacal and calendrical scales suggests a date of construction posterior to al-Battuti and so it is possible that this astrolabe is the work of a student of his. The original rete, plates and alidade are lost and have been replaced by components of inferior quality.
The plain throne and the rim are very similar to those on AST0532. The mater is devoid of markings, save for some very feint scratches that vaguely resemble a wind-rose, but are certainly not original. The general shape of the rete is faithful to the maghribi tradition and it has 25 star pointers. There are two plates, engraved by the same person who made the rete. On the back of the instrument is an inscription stating that it was bequeathed by 'Sidi Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah' to the congregational Mosque of the march ('thaghr') of 'al-Ghurayish' (probably Ghadames) in the year 1184 (1770-71 AD).
Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Battuti
- Image reference: E5549-1
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London