Astrolabe: obverse by unknown

Astrolabe: obverse


Fine art poster

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    • by cm excluding border ( by in)

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Astrolabe: obverse by unknown zoom

Astrolabe: obverse

This is a competently made 19th-century Indo-Persian Astrolabe of the 'Abd al-A'imma type. It is virtually identical to an astrolabe in the National Museum of American History, Washington DC (IC no. 61). It has previously been recorded as the work of Yusuf al-Jilani, but this is incorrect and was the result of it being confused with another dial in the NMM collection.

The brownish surface of this instrument is covered by a shiny patina which has been considerably rubbed, so that the inscriptions in the ornamental areas are illegible or barely legible. On the front and back of the throne, one can nevertheless recognize the Koranic verses II, 255 and LX8, 51-52. Engraved in the mater is a geographical gazetteer of traditional format incorporating 46 localities. The rete was probably copied from an astrolabe by Hajji'Ali, because, in addition to finding the same choice of stars as on his astrolabes, there is the same Persian orthography for Alpha Canis Maior as on AST0544 (an astrolabe by Hajji'Ali). There are five competently engraved plates representing latitudes between 30├òÔòØ-37├òÔòØ. On the back of the instrument, underneath the shadow square, the cartouche, presumably with the signature of the maker, is illegible. Within this cartouche, NMM curator Derek Price claimed to have read the name 'Yusuf' nearly 50 years ago.

  • Image reference: E5534-2

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