Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 33739 from Iṣfahān, ca. 1710
thumbnail for astrolabe (front), inventory number 33739 from Iṣfahān, ca. 1710
thumbnail for astrolabe (back), inventory number 33739 from Iṣfahān, ca. 1710
thumbnail for astrolabe (rete front), inventory number 33739 from Iṣfahān, ca. 1710
Dateca. 1710
MakerKhalīl Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan ‘Alī
Inventory no.33739
AcquisitionPresented by J. A. Billmeir in 1957

It is unusual to see a 'division of labour' recorded on an astrolabe, but is characteristic of one group of astrolabe makers in Iṣfahān in the first decades of the 18th century. In this case we are told, through separate signatures, the name of the maker - Khalīl Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan 'Alī - and of the man who 'decorated' the astrolabe - 'Abd al-A'imma. With such fine decorative engraving, especially on the back and the womb, and extending also to the rim, it is not surprising that a specialist was responsible for this aspect of manufacture. Khalīl Muḥammad collaborated in this way with a number of his contemporaries, chiefly Muḥammad Bāqir and 'Abd al-A'imma, who was also a famous astrolabist in his own right.

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Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the indo-persian, engraved type made of brass attached with integrated base 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. There is a short inscription at the bottom of the limb. This instrument has a tab on the limb, inside the mater, to hold the tympans in place rather than a notch in the mater and a tab on the plates. Scales on the limb: degree scale. More information


The back contains 17 scales of the following types: Altitude; Declination; Azimuth of Qibla; Altitude of noon sun; Sine/Cosine; Unequal hours; Cotangent; Terms; Zodiacal signs; Faces; Lunar Mansions; Shadow square; Triplicities. More information

Rete, Pin & Wedge

The rete contains 26 stars. The zodiac on the rete is labelled: حمل , ثور , جوزا , سرطان , اسد , سنبل , ميزان , عقرب , قوس , جدي , دلو , حوت.

The rete contains 1 scale of the following type: Ecliptic.
The rete is attached using a pin & wedge. More information


There are 2 plates with latitudes ranging from 29°0' to 36°0' . More information

Rules & Alidades

Type Details
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