Astrolabe Catalogue


Front of astrolabe without rete or plates. Click to enlarge
Date ca. 1660
Maker Muḥammad Mahdī
Place Persia
Material Brass
Inventory no. 45581
Acquisition Presented by J. A. Billmeir in 1957


The throne is of the indo-persian, pierced type . The throne is attached with a integrated base. The front bears an inscription. The back is decorated with embossed foliate pattern. Markings:
Content Translation Notes Type
وسع كرسيه السماوات والأرض His throne extends over the heavens and the earth. Qur'anic verse


The ring is of the simple, round cross-section type (i.e. simple plain ring made from a round rod or piece of metal).


Shackle of the omega type (i.e. Ω-shaped shackle). .


The mater and limb are of one-piece construction. The tab that holds the plates stationary is located at the bottom of the instrument, i.e., 180° from the throne. Scales on the limb:
Type Range & Units Numbered Geometry Location
Degree 0 - 360 Degrees Every 5 degrees Circular, concentric outer

The limb is inscribed:
Content Translation Notes Type
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 ومحمد التقى وعلي النقي الزكي والحسن العسكري وصلى على الحجة القائم الدائم محمد المهدي صاحب الزمان صلوات الله عليهم أجمعين. 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 Miscellaneous


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