Lot n° 214
15000 - 20000
Result without fees
: 35 500EUR
Indo-Persian astrolabe in the style of Ḍiyā'... - Lot 214 - Rossini
Indo-Persian astrolabe in the style of Ḍiyā' al-DīnMuḥammad of Lahore, probably executed by one of his workshop assistants Mid-11th century AH (17th century AD) Brass, originally gilt Diameter 204 mm A good sized astrolabe of which the rete is somewhat worn and slightly deformed with several small repairs. Originally gilt, the rete is now somewhat dull probably as a result of heating during repair work. By its style of engraving, the arrangement of the rete and the kursî, the instrument can be attributed to the most important workshop in Lahore, that of Ḍiyā' al-Dīn Muḥammad, of whom almost fifty signed and unsigned astrolabes are known, as well as several celestial globes. The son of Qâ'im Muhammad, this inventive maker was endowed with a good knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and of his predecessors’ writings on these subjects, especially those from Andalusia. On several of his instruments, he shows a pronounced taste for complex designs like those engraved on the fifth tympanum of the instrument presented here. It should be noted that the very few astrolabes usable in both the northern and southern hemispheres were produced by the workshop of Ḍiyā' al-Dīn Muḥammad. Sarma A130: astrolabe attributed to the workshop of Ḍiyā' al-DīnMuḥammad See: S. R. Sarma, A Descriptive Catalogue of Indian Astronomical Instruments, 2021. Available at www.srsarma.in.
DESCRIPTION The rete has sixty-three short curved or hook-shaped star indexes. Several of these indexes are unnamed, having been placed to give the spider an impression of symmetry; for others the inscription is now illegible. There are four holes that pierce the rete in a non-symmetrical manner, one of which, placed at the western end of the east-west bar, may have carried a mudir (a small boss for turning the rete), but the other three, of unknown purpose, appear to be later. The Capricorn index (al-muri) is square with a central indicator point. The twelve zodiacal signs are named, divided at one degree, and numbered every two degrees; straight east-west bar.
MATER (MOTHER), LIMB, AND KURSÎ (THRONE) These three elements were cast into one piece. The throne is high and openworked with an engraved decoration of foliage on both sides around a central reserve left empty. The limb bears a 360° scale reading to 1° and numbered every 5° in abjad with all the numbers written out, i.e. without contractions for the three-digit numbers. The interior of the mater ('umm) is engraved with four circular and concentric scales. The one in the centre (which is not complete) gives the names, distances and passages of selected stars, the three scales around it form a geographical table giving the longitudes and latitudes of several named places. In the centre there is the inscription in Persian. The bottom lug seems to be a replacement.
BACK The upper left quarter is engraved with a sexagesimal sine graph with each fifth division indicated by a dotted line; the right quarter shows the arcs of the zodiac signs drawn and numbered for every 3°. They are crossed by five sinusoidal lines of which the three upper ones indicate the noon altitude of the sun for latitudes 27°, 32° and 37°. The two lower lines mark the beginning of the afternoon prayer, and the end of the noon prayer at 32° latitude. Around the two quarters is a double scale of degrees for zenith distance divided to 1° and numbered every 5°. On the lower part of the back, the circumference is engraved with two cotangent scales used to determine the beginning of the afternoon prayer. The one on the left is calculated on base seven with each degree from 1 to 15 numbered, and every 5° numbered from 15 to 40. There is an inscription which reads 'shadow in feet' ( اقدام ظل .( The scale on the right, calculated on base twelve, has the degrees individually numbered from 1 to 20 and every five from 20 to 60 with the inscription 'shadow in numbers' ( اصابع ظل .( Within these two scales is a third for the houses of the moon, and within it, two more: the one on the left marked 'solar declination to signs' ) ارقام لامستوی ). میل numbers plane’, and to the right of that, ( لاشمس فی لابرو ج (The purpose of this scale is not known. In the centre is a double shadow square calculated on the left on a base of seven, and on the right on a base of twelve with the inscriptions, on the left 'shadow in feet' ( سوكعم مادقا لظ ( and 'horizontal shadow in feet' ( مادقا لظ يوتسم ; ( and on the right 'shadow in numbers' ( سوكعم عباصا لظ ( and 'horizontal shadow in numbers' ( يوتسم عباصا لظ .( Inside the two squares are astrological tables.
THE PLATES All the plates, with the exception of IIIa and V have almucantars drawn for each degree, and are numbered; they all have unequal hours drawn below the horizon, and an indication of east and west. For plates Ia, IIa, IIIa and IVa the azimuth are traced for every 30° above the horizon and every 6° below; the plates Ib, IIb, and IVb have azimuth arcs traced every 6°, above and below. On the plates Ia and b, IIa, IVa and b, the ‘Babylonian’ hours (hours counted from dawn) are symmetrically marked around the meridian line, indicated by dotted lines to distinguish them from the other lines drawn. The alidade is missing, the horse and pin are replacements
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