Astrolabes and quadrants, Astronomical and navigational instruments

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Astrolabes and quadrants

Object connections:

Collection Astrolabes and quadrants, Astronomical and navigational instruments
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID AST0579
Description Muhammad Muqim, the grandson of the celebrated Ilahdad, is considered one of the best instrument makers from 17th century Lahore. To date, 37 astrolabes by this maker have been recorded. The calligraphy on the plates and the mater is of quite a high standard, but is not as carefully engraved as the inscriptions on the rete. The throne is high and elaborately fretted in a style typical of this maker. The suspentory apparatus is a well-made replacement. Within the mater, a geographical gazetteer gives the longitudes and latitudes of 69 localities in the near- and middle-east including Cairo, Baghdad and Ahmadabad. The style of execution of the rete is in harmony with that of the throne. There are five plates covering latitudes of 0°, 18°, 22°, 25°, 27°, 32°, 36°, 40°, 72° and 90°. On the back of the instrument are two altitude scales along the top-half of the rim, a sine quadrant in the upper-left and a graph of the solar meridian altitude as a function of the solar longitude for latitudes 27° and 32°, in the top-right. In the bottom half is a double shadow square beneath which is the maker's signature, engraved upside-down: 'Made by the hand of the least of (God's) servants, Muhammad Muqim ibn 'Isa ibn Ilahdad Humayuni, astrolabe-maker of Lahore / in the year 1051 of the Hijra'. The wedge is a replacement, signed 'S.P. 1970'.
Date made 1641-1642

Artist/Maker 'Isa, Muhammad Muqim ibn Mulla
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials brass
Measurements Overall: 45 x 220 x 132 mm; Diameter: 134 mm
  • Astrolabe (AST0579)
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