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Extremely Rare 18th C. Mughal North Indian Astrolabe

( ID: ia969 )

A very rare and interesting 18th C. or earlier Mughal Indian astrolabe.  This example is a provincial made example of unique construction.  The rete or top plate is domed, which is extremely uncommon, and chiseled and pierced throughout with astrological symbols.  The mater, or mainplate, is chiseled on the inside with various caligraphic designs and directional inputs, along with the designs of the Islamic astrological calendar, which incorporated earlier Greek astrological symbology.  

The horse, or in this case rather the eagle attached to a small piece of string, slips into a notch in the pin that keeps the parts together and which mimics the design of the alidade which is a beautiful eagle design. The back of the mater is chiseled with more astrological symbols and caligraphic inscriptions, with an image of a six armed deity, possibly one of the Gigenees from Greek mythology who resided in Persia, or possibly an Indian interpretation of that ancient Greek myth.

Truly a piece befitting a wunderkammer. 

Overall diameter is 4", overall length is 8".

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