Lot 1
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Muhsin ibn Muhammad

Estimate
40,000 - 50,000 USD
Sold
206,500 USD
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Description

  • A RARE SMALL BRASS PERSIAN ASTROLABE
    CIRCA 1780 (A.H. 1194)
  • DIAMETER 93 MM
the astrolabe rete is symmetrically patterned with scrolling tracery and a straight east-west bar, further marked with twenty-seven named stars represented by star pointer in the form of birds and flowing leafage, signed Muhsin ibn Muhammad, Ali ash-Sharif al Kirmani- 'may their sins be pardoned' circa 1780
• the ecliptic is divided to 6o with named signs, open work kursi  (throne), the top inlaid with a turquoise disc and decoratively  engraved and cast in one piece with the mater, further suspended from an engraved pierced shackle, a suspension ring tied with an ilaqa plaited from multi-color cord, the limb engraved with degree scale of 360o reading to 1o in groups of five, each numeral is enclosed within an arched background
• the mater is engraved with thirty-eight towns with latitude, longitude and inhiraf, the upper-left quadrant is a scale of degrees 0o-90o surrounding a graph of horizontal lines drawn from every fifth degree of the scale of the limb and overlayed with a sexagesimal sinegraph with radial lines, the upper right quadrant is engraved with a scale of degrees 90o-0o surrounds a single shadow square of twelve divisions each divided to five, the limb of the lower quadrant carry a scale of co-tangents used for a direct reading of the length of shadow of a vertical gnomon in a horizontal plane and with astrological tables, with short alidade of straight bar form, horse-form faras
the four plates show almucantars drawn for 6o and separated by later pink paper buffers
The plates are:
a. for latitudes 34 oand 36o
b. for latitudes 38o and 40o
c. for latitudes 32o and 30o
d. for latitude 22o and with a tablet of horizons
with the exception of the horizon tablet each is also engraved below the horizon with an unequal-hour scale, azimuth lines, and an equal-hour scale reading 1-12 from the west side of the instrument


Provenance

Time Museum Inventory No. 1436
Bahari Collection
Alain Brieux, Paris IC/CCA  no. 3521. Brieux-Maddison, MHMD MHSN AL 1

Literature

Turner, A. J., The Time Museum Time Measuring Instruments: Astrolabes, cat. no. 7, pp. 92-94, figs. 71-75, and back cover.

Catalogue Note

Another astrolabe with the signature of Muhsin ibn Muhammad is known and was in the Chadenat Collection, exhibited in 1936 in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris.

For further information regarding this astrolabe, see the full description in the literature cited above.

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