Exhibition: The Astrolabe, East and West


Astrolabes are handmade instruments and, until the printed examples of modern times, no two are the same. The imagination of both makers and mathematicians is seen in many ways, from the artistry of the rete on the front to the different scales that are included on the back. Decoration and ornament were valued in so prestigious an instrument, while mathematical originality extended its design beyond the basic form and into a range of different types of astrolabe.
Astrolabe, by Erasmus Habermel, Germany, c.1585   (Inv. 37297)
Astrolabe with Geared Calendar, by Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, Isfahan, 1221/2   (Inv. 48213)
Astrolabe, Indo-Persian, 17th century   (Inv. 33796)
Astrolabe with Universal Projection, c.1400    (Inv. 52869)
Astrolabe with Universal Lamina, by 'Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Harrar, Taza, Morocco, 1327/8  (Inv. 50853)
Astrolabe, by 'Adb al-A'imma, Persian, 1712/13  (Inv. 40744)
Table of thumbnail images with links to individual astrolabes
Astrolabe Clock, by Johann Leonhardt Bommel, Nuremberg, c.1686? (Inv. 35592)
Spherical Astrolabe, by Musa, Eastern Islamic, 1480/81  (Inv. 49687)
Linear Astrolabe, by Henri Michel, Brussels, 1943  (Inv. 51934)
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