© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1958.135
People
Unknown Artist
Title
Astrolabe
Classification
Measuring Devices
Work Type
astrolabe
Date
18th-19th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Zand period to early Qajar period
Culture
Persian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brass
Dimensions
max. H. with ring: 13.8 x 8.5 x 1.4 cm (5 7/16 x 3 3/8 x 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Shaykh Muhammad Araghi
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
Accession Year
1958
Object Number
1958.135
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This astrolabe has a number of defects which prevent it from being a useful scientific instrument. The workmanship, though, is very good, so this was probably one of the many astrolabes made during the 18-19th century in Iran as decorative objects. Contemporary European travellers to Iran wrote about the craze for owning astrolabes, even amongst those who had no idea how they worked. Such a craze inevitably resulted in such attractive but non-functional objects as this one.
(Notes from the Glory and Prosperity exhibition, Feb - June 2002.)
Publication History

Owen Gingerich, "Rara Astronomica", Harvard Library Bulletin, ed. E. E. Williams, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, April 1971), vol. XIX, no. 2, pp138, no. 66

Exhibition History

The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/09/1985 - 03/31/1985

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu