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Special Exhibition Label: 'Al-Mizan: Sciences and Arts in the Islamic World' (26/10/2010 - 20/03/2011)

Calligraphy

Named in Lights

This magnificent ankabut (or rete) comes from a royal astrolabe made for the Safavid Shah Abbas II by Muhammad Muqim al-Yazdi in 1647/8. In the upper part of the tracery the Shah's name is calligraphically figured into the metal itself, placing him in the same realm as the sun and stars. This celestial connection is reinforced by the dedication that appears on the kursi (throne) of the astrolabe: 'The supreme prince, the sultan, the most just, the greatest, lord of the centres of command, remover of the causes of tyranny and rebellion, king of the kings of the age, Abu al-Muzaffar Sultan Shah 'Abbas the Second, the Safawi, the Musawi, the Husaini, Bahadur Khan. 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!'

MHS inv. 45747

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Related Objects:

Inventory No. 45747, "Astrolabe, by Muhammad Muqim al-Yazdi, Persian, 1647/8" [1924-0/part], Muhammad Muqim al-Yazdi