Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 45747 from Persia, 1647/8 (A.H. 1057)
thumbnail for astrolabe (front), inventory number 45747 from Persia, 1647/8 (A.H. 1057)
thumbnail for astrolabe (back), inventory number 45747 from Persia, 1647/8 (A.H. 1057)
thumbnail for astrolabe (rete front), inventory number 45747 from Persia, 1647/8 (A.H. 1057)
Date1647/8 (A.H. 1057)
MakerMuḥammad Muqīm al-Yazdī
Inventory no.45747
AcquisitionPresented by Lewis Evans in 1924.
This lavish astrolabe was made for the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas II. He is described on the front as 'The supreme prince, the sultan, the most just, the most great, lord of the centres of command, remover of the causes of tyranny and rebellion, king of the kings of the age', while the back expresses the wish that 'May God Almighty perpetuate his Kingdom and his Empire and cause his justice and his benefits to spread over the worlds while the spheres revolve and the planets continue their courses.' These inscriptions appear on the throne at the top of the astrolabe. The sultan also had his name worked into the elaborate tracery of the rete.

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About calligraphy (link to the Al-Mizan exhibition site)

Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the indo-persian, engraved type made of brass attached with integrated base made of brass and has a simple, round cross-section ring made of brass and omega type shackle made of brass . More information


The mater and limb are of one-piece construction. The tab that holds the plates from rotating is located at the bottom of the instrument. Scales on the limb: degree scale. More information


The back contains 10 scales of the following types: Altitude; Cotangent; Declination; Azimuth of Qibla; Sine/Cosine; Shadow square. The back is inscribed: with a maker's signature marked as راقمه فصل الله السبزواري (Composed by Faṣl Allah al-Sabzawārī). This inscription is found in the cartouche at the bottom of the instrument. More information

Rete, Pin & Horse

The rete contains 47 stars. The rete contains zoomorphs: the star pointer for vega is shaped like a bird facing to the left The zodiac on the rete is labelled: الحمل , الثور , الجوزا , الشرطان , الاسد , السنبله , الميزان , العقرب , القوس , الجدى , الدلو , الحوت .The rete is inscribed with a owner's mark marked as: سلطا شاة عباس ثاني (Sultan Shah Abbas the Second). The inscription is worked into the tracery within the eclpitic on the rete.


The rete contains 1 scale of the following type: Ecliptic.
The rete is attached using a pin & horse. More information


There are 5 plates with latitudes ranging from 22°0' to 42°0' . More information

Rules & Alidades

Type Details
More information


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