Astrolabes and celestial globes were instruments of astrology that were extensively used in the Persian world to create astrological maps. Mainly made of brass they mostly had detailed astrological charts and maps on the inside and on the back.

Brass celestial globe by Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn ‘Ali al-Tabari al-Asturlabi (Iran, 1285-6 — the sixth oldest surviving celestial globe)

Astrological geomantic plate (Iran, 17th or 18th century).

Astrolabe, by Muhammad Amin, Persian, 1673/4.

Iranian Astrolabe

An 18th Century Persian astrolabe - maker unknown. The points of the curved spikes on the front rete plate, mark the positions of the brightest stars. The name of each star being labeled at the base of each spike. The back plate, or mater is engraved with projected coordinate lines. From the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in Cambridge. –photo taken by Andrew Dunn

Astrolabe, Iran, 1650, Muhammad Mahdi. Courtesy of the Khalili Family Trust.

✤ Also available in: Persian

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