Astrolabe

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Description:

Astrolabe, made of brass, inlaid with silver, and engraved; with seven latitude plates. The rete is marked with pointers to sixty-three important stars and the mater is inscribed with a gazetteer of 103 cities throughout the Islamic world, including Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad, Kabul and Delhi. Inscribed.

Object type:

astrolabe

Museum number:

OA+.369

Culture/period:

Safavid dynasty

Date:

1712 (Sha'ban 1124 (Sep-Oct 1712))

Production place:

Made in: Iran

Materials:

copper alloy, silver

Technique:

engraved, inlaid

Dimensions:

Height: 58.20 cm Width: 14.00 cm Depth: 3.40 cm

Inscriptions:

Inscription details: inscription in Arabic script Inscription quoted: هو بموجب فرمان قضا جريان سلطان سلاطين زمان سيّد خواقين دوران پشت و پناه اهل ايمان ولينعمت عالم و عالميان مدار سپهر دولت ﻭﻋﺩﺍﻟﺔ قطب فلك اعظم عظمة و جلالت اختر درخشان اوج كيتي ستاني مهر تابان وسط السّماء جهانباني شاه سلطان حسين صفوي موسوي حسيني مدّ اللّه تعالي ظلّ معدلته علي روس الانام مدي الليالي و الايام اين اسطرلاب تامّ صورت انجام يافت في شهر شعبان ١١٢٤ Inscription note: A calligraphic inscription at the top of the astrolabe praises the royal patron, Sultan Husayn.

Location:

14

Associated names:

Named in inscription: Shah Sultan Husayn

Acquisition names:

Bequeathed by: Sir Hans Sloane

Acquisition date:

1753

Curator's comments:

The massive size and weight of this instrument show that it was more for conspicuous ostentation than use. For further information see: K. Sloan (ed.), Enlightenment. Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century (London, The British Museum Press, 2003), Ch. 14 W.H. Morley, Description of a planispheric astrolabe constructed for Shah Sultan Husain Safawi, king of Persia, and now preserved in the British Museum (London, Williams and Norgate, 1856.)