History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

Inventory no. 42730 - Former Display Label

60
Indo-Persian (Mughal) ASTROLABE
A.H. 1044 = A.D. 1634/5

Signed, on the back of the rete, 'Work of the least of the servants Qâ'im Muhammad b. 'Îsà b. Allâh-Dâd (or Ilâh-Dâd) Humâyûn's astrolabist of Lahore'; dated, in the shadow-square, 'Hijri year 1044', and 'Year 8 from the accession of Shâh Jahân, and, at the side of the shadow-square, 'Rûmi year 1946'. Brass. Diam.: 193 mm.
Rete for c.50 stars. A very unusual feature of the rete is the inclusion in the centre of the foliate tracery, of a small zawraq or 'ship' rete (see astrolabe no. 52 in this bay), for use with the miniature tablet for 42° (see below). 7 plates: a) a double tablet for latitudes 0° and 90°, and a tablet of horizons (eastern type); b) for latitudes 18° and 42° (or 44°), and 38°; c) for latitudes 20° and 70°, and 23°30'; d) for latitudes 25°, and 30° and 36°; e) for latitudes 27° and 52°; f) for latitudes 35°, and 22° and 40°; g) a tablet of ecliptical co-ordinates, and a tablet (shown) of the 12 astrological houses, in the centre of which is a miniature tablet for 42° for use with the 'ship' in the centre of the rete. The plates are variously engraved with azimuths above and below the horizon line, and with the lines of Babylonian hours. The mater is engraved with a gazetteer of the longitudes and latitudes of 120 places, arranged according to 'climate'. On the back is a sine/cosine quadrant with arcs of the signs of the zodiac; a graph of the arcs of the signs, each sign divided into five divisions of 6 each, with a graph of the relation between the sun's right ascension and meridian altitude for latitude 32° (Lahore); a shadow-square, within which is a table of astrological triplicities; cotangent scales; an astrological table of the limits and faces of the planets; and, an unusual feature, a zodiac/calendar scale of the Syrian solar months (0° Aries = 113/4 Âdhâr; eccentric type) with a scale of the 28 astrological mansions of the moon. On the alidade are a declination scale corresponding to the arcs of the signs, a declination scale divided in degrees, and a scale of unequal hours. The high triangular kursi is ornamentally pierced and decorated with engraving, and is characteristic of Mughal astrolabes.

[IC 71; B-M: QAIM MHMD ISA 6]
Lewis Evans Collection

Other narratives:

Related Objects: