Muhammad Zaman al-Munajjim al-Asturlabi (active 1643–89)
dated A.H. 1065/ A.D. 1654–55
Brass and steel; cast and hammered, pierced and engraved
H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
W. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
D. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
Astrolabes of this size were not precise enough for astronomical observations, but served well for telling time, and astrologers could use them to determine the position of a planet relative to the different astrological houses. The intricate calligraphic faceplate of this example is typical of Safavid‑period astrolabes; it reads: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate" (bismallah al‑Rahman al‑Rahim).
Signature: Muhammad Zaman al-Munajjim al-Asturlabi AH 1065 (AD 1654–55).
Inscription: Arabic inscriptions in nasta‘liq script, on rete on inner circle:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
صنعه محمد زمان المنجم الاصطرلابى 10۶۵
Made by Muhammad Zaman the astrologer the astrolabe-maker A.H. 1065 [A.D. 1654–55]
I. G. Sargis, New York(until 1963; sold to MMA)
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Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 96-97, ill. pl. 16 (color).