Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 50143 from Persia, ca. 1650
thumbnail for astrolabe (front), inventory number 50143 from Persia, ca. 1650
thumbnail for astrolabe (back), inventory number 50143 from Persia, ca. 1650
thumbnail for astrolabe (rete front), inventory number 50143 from Persia, ca. 1650
Dateca. 1650
MakerMuḥammad Mahdī
MaterialGilt brass
Inventory no.50143
AcquisitionPresented by Lewis Evans in 1924

View all images for this astrolabe
View detailed provenance for this astrolabe

Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the indo-persian, engraved type made of gilt brass attached with integrated base made of brass and omega type shackle made of gilt brass . More information


The mater and limb are of one-piece construction. The tab that holds the tympans in place is located at the bottom of the instrument. Scales on the limb: degree scale.

The limb is inscribed: with a miscellaneous marked as اللهم صلى على محمد المصطفى وعلي المرتضى والبيوت (؟) فاطمة والسبطين الحسن والحسين وصلى على زين العباد وعلى محمد الباقر وجعفر الصادق وموسى الكاظم وعلي الرضا و (God bless Muḥammad the chosen and ʿAlī the approved and the families (?), Fāṭimah, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn, and may He bless Zayn al-ʿĀbid(īn), Muḥammad al-Bāqir, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, Mūsā al-Kāẓim, ʿAlī al-Riḍā, Muḥammad al-Taqī, ʿAlī al-Naqī al-Zakī, and al-Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī, and may He bless the upright, the eternal proof, Muḥammad al-Mahdī, master of the time, may God bless all of them.). Inscription around edge. Note: This is a list of the twelve Shiite Imams. More information


The back contains 13 scales of the following types: Altitude; Declination; Altitude of noon sun; Azimuth of Qibla; Cotangent; Zodiacal signs; Terms; Faces; Shadow square. The back is inscribed: with a maker's signature marked as نقشه محمد مهدي اليزدي (Engraved by Muḥammad Mahdī al-Yazdī). Inscription in unusually-shaped cartouche. The inscription is worn and difficult to read. More information

Rete, Pin & Horse

The rete contains 0 stars. The zodiac on the rete is labelled: حمل , ثور , جوزا , سرطان , اسد , سنبله , ميزان , عقرب , قوس , جدى , دلو , حوت .
The rete is attached using a pin & horse. The horse is missing. More information


There are 5 plates with latitudes ranging from 22°0' to 45°0' . More information

Rules & Alidades

Type Details
More information


MHS Home | Contact Us | ©2006 Museum of the History of Science