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Inventory no. 46935 - Former Display Label

58
Indo-Persian (Mughal) ASTROLABE
A.H. 1051 = A.D. 1641/2

Signed, on the back within the shadow-square, 'Work of the least of the servants Muhammad Muqim b. Isà b. Allâh-dâd Humâyûn's astrolabist of Lahore', and dated below the shadow-square, 'in the year 1051 of the Hijra'. Brass. Diam.: 129 mm.

Rete for 40 stars. 4 plates (perhaps originally five): 22°, 25°; 27°, 32°; 36°, 40°; tablet of co-ordinates of the ecliptic, tablet of horizons; all the plates for different latitudes are engraved with the usual almucantars, horizon, meridian, and unequal hour lines, but azimuths (above and below the horizon), Babylonian hours and Italian hours are variously included on the plates. In the mater is a circular table of the longitudes and latitudes of 69 places. On the back are a sine/cosine quadrant, the arcs of the signs of the zodiac with the sigmoid graphs, diagnostic of Indian astrolabes, showing the relation between the sun's right ascension and meridian altitude for latitudes 22° and 32°; a shadow-square, within which is an astrological table of the 28 mansions of the moon and the signs of the zodiac; cotangent scales; an astrological table of the signs of the zodiac giving the limits of the planets; and the usual scales of degrees.

The kursi is decoratively pierced as is common on Indo-Persian astrolabes. There is a plaited ilâqa (a loop of cord or leather used for suspending the astrolabe, when, as on many Persian instruments, the suspension ring is of too small diameter for the insertion of the user's thumb) of blue, yellow and white silk. The alidade, pin and horse are replacements.

[IC 2531; 57-84/160; B-M: MHMD MQIM ISA 13]
J. A. Billmeir Collection

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