History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Special Exhibition Label: 'Al-Mizan: Sciences and Arts in the Islamic World' (26/10/2010 - 20/03/2011)


Persian Turquoise

Dedicated to the director of an arsenal, this Persian astrolabe was made by 'Abd al-A'imma in 1712/3. The decoration has been carefully composed and coloured: the suspension cord is of red silk and the central pin that holds the astrolabe together is ornamented with a turquoise set in a silver rosette. The region around Nishapur in Persia was one of the primary sources for turquoise. The name of the gem demonstrates the importance of Persian mining and trade, since it was from French imports via Turkey (Turquie) that turquoise was re-named in the 17th century.

MHS inv. 40744 (centre)

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