Astrolabe Catalogue


Front of astrolabe without rete or plates. Click to enlarge
Date ca. 1660
Maker Muḥammad Mahdī
Place Persia
Material Brass
Inventory no. 46886
Acquisition Presented by J. A. Billmeir in 1957


The throne is of the indo-persian, engraved type . The throne is attached with a integrated base. The front bears an ornate, embossed inscription. The back is decorated with a foliate design and bears a compass. The needle of the compass is shaped like a bird. Markings:
Content Translation Notes Type
الله لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم لا تأخذه سنة ولا نوم له ما في السماوات وما في الأرض من ذا الذي يشفع عنده إلا بإذنه يعلم ما بين أيديهم وما خلفهم ولا يحيطون بشئ من علمه إلا بما شاء وسع كرسيه السماوات والأرض ولا يؤوده حفظهما وهو العلي العظيم God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. All that is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him. Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His leave? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; it does not weary Him to preserve them both. He is the Most High, the Tremendous. Qur'anic verse


The ring is of the simple, round cross-section type (i.e. simple plain ring made from a round rod or piece of metal) made of silver.


Shackle of the eye-bolt type (i.e. any shackle that attactes to the ring via an eye-bolt type feature). The shackle pivots on a pin that affixes it to the throne.


The mater and limb are of one-piece construction. The tab that holds the tympans in place is located at the bottom of the instrument, 180° from the throne. Scales on the limb:
Type Range & Units Numbered Geometry Location
Degree 0 - 360 Degrees of arc Every 5 degrees Circular, concentric outer

The limb is inscribed:
Content Translation Notes Type
[along edge] [ pending ] None


The womb contains a gazetteer.
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