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Inventory no. 33767 - Former Display Label

17
Persian ASTROLABE
374 or 394 A.H. = 984-5 or 1003-4 A.D.

Signed, on the back, 'In the name of God, and by the help of God. With prosperity and success and good fortune, and happiness, this astrolabe was composed by Ahmad and Muhammad, the sons of Ibrâhîm, makers of astrolabes, of Isfahân, the year four and seventy [or ninety] and three hundred'. Brass.

3 plates, for latitudes 30°, 32°, 36° and 37°, and including a tablet of horizons. The umm is engraved with a gazeteer, but this may be a later addition.

This is the earliest Persian astrolabe known. The form of star-pointers and the use of Kufic script found in this instrument are characteristic of the earliest astrolabes whatever their origin. In the west the shape of the star-pointers develops into the curved form characteristic of the maghribî astrolabes, in which the use of the Kufic script, in its western form, is also continued. The later eastern astrolabes are engraved in the rounded naskhî script. The equinoctial band and east-west bars tend to disappear, and the design of the {ain}ankabût becomes an intricate foliate pattern. In this astrolabe one characteristic feature of Persian astrolabes is already present, namely the large triangular ornamental kursî.

From the collection of Prof. Y. Daweed.

[IC 3; Mayer, Ahmad b. Ibrâhîm]
Lewis Evans Collection

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