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RARE and original 19th C. Persian Astrolabe made of chiseled brass

( ID: ia609 )

A truly wonderful example of this rare scientific instrument.  This example is a Persian astrolabe, likely dating to the 19th C, but possibly earlier. It is not a copy of an antique piece as there are many of those current available and circulating, most originating from India. This is a true and original antique example, containing all of the original retes and navigating disks that would help one to determine the position of the Sun, and thereby the latitude where one was located.  This was an especially important instrument in the Islamic world because for prayer one would have to pray in the direction of Mecca. 

This instrument is composed of 11 pieces, with the main plate, 5 retes and a frontispiece.  The main plate is covered in extremely fine chiseling, which on a superficial inspection appears to be decorative but on closer inspection is very fine calligraphy and writing, which we have yet to translate but which would likely reveal some wonderful clues as to which part of Persia the item is from, or perhaps it was made in Persia and transported elsewhere where additional retes were added to it.  The chiseled designs on the inside of the main plate and the back are of the highest level of Persian brasswork. 

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