Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 33796 from India (?), 17th century
thumbnail for astrolabe (front), inventory number 33796 from India (?), 17th century
thumbnail for astrolabe (back), inventory number 33796 from India (?), 17th century
thumbnail for astrolabe (rete front), inventory number 33796 from India (?), 17th century
Date17th century
PlaceIndia (?)
Inventory no.33796
AcquisitionPresented by A. E. Gunther in 1986

This unusual form of astrolabe has two horizon bands included in the rete, along with two meridian bands rising from them and, in effect, forming a complete meridian. The horizons are for 29 and 36 degrees and are set opposed to each other in the rete. The rest of the rete has star pointers and an ecliptic circle in the usual way. So the rete works in three modes - in reference to the heavens and to two local latitudes - and in the latter cases is used in conjunction with the corresponding latitude plates to achieve an extended range of functions. This zawraq or 'ship' rete is visualised as containing two representations of ships, with each horizon band marked as a 'ship' and the corresponding meridian band as its 'mast'.

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Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the indo-persian, pierced type made of brass with integrated support(s) made of brass and has a simple, round cross-section ring made of brass and omega type shackle made of brass . More information


The mater and limb are of one-piece construction. Scales on the limb: degree scale.

The limb is inscribed: with a city name marked as [The edge of the limb is inscribed with a gazetteer.]. More information


The back contains 12 scales of the following types: Altitude; Declination; Azimuth of Qibla; Sine/Cosine; Cotangent; Shadow square; Lunar Mansions; Zodiacal signs. More information

Rete, Pin & Horse

The rete contains 0 stars. The zodiac on the rete is labelled: الحمل , الشور , الجوزا , السرطان , الاسد , السنبله , الميزان , العقرب , القوس , الجدي , الدلو , الحوت .The rete is inscribed with a latitude marked as: [along tropic of capricorn]. [ pending ].
The rete is attached using a pin & horse. Neither the simple pin nor the horse look original to the instrument.. More information


There are 8 plates with latitudes ranging from 18°0' to 66°0' . More information

Rules & Alidades

Type Details
AlidadeDouble-ended. Both sights are a bit askew and loose. The alidade is cracked at the base of the left sight..
More information


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