- Museum number
Celestial globe with stand and ring; brass, engraved with silver inlays. Signed and dated. It indicates approximately sixty stars with inlaid silver points. Zodiacal names are engraved along the ecliptic, while stars and constellations are identified in kufic script. Near the south pole an inscription states that the placement of the stars was determined by calculations made in AH 834 [1430/31 AD] in accordance with the 'Suwar al-kawakib al-thabita' ["Book of fixed stars"] of al-Sufi. In addition to this date, the year is also noted according to the Yazdijird (805) and Alexandrian (1733) calendars.
- Production date
- 1430-1431 (AH 834)
Diameter: 13.60 centimetres
Height: 27.20 centimetres
Width: 14.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
This globe is engraved with names of the zodiac and identifies stars and constellations with inlaid silver points and kufic inscriptions. It indicates that courtly patronage under the Timurid rulers extended to the sciences as well as the arts. In addition to their aesthetic value, such globes were used to teach calculations in observatories such as the one built in Samarqand in 1428–9 by the Timurid prince Ulugh Beg, who briefly ruled Herat between 1448 and 1450.
E. Savage-Smith, Islamicate celestial globes: Smithsonian studies in history and technology, vol 46, catalogue entry no.62, p249 (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985)
- On display (G42/dc6)
- Exhibition history
2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: 50 years that changed China'
2014 30 Mar - 29 Jun, Dallas Museum of Art, 'Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World'
2013-14 24 Oct - 9 Feb, Seville, Focus-Abengoa Foundation, 'Nur'
2011 March-July, London, BM, 'No Equal in All the World: Artistic Legacies from Herat, Afghanistan'
1989 13 Aug-5 Nov, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 'Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century'
1989 16 Apr-6 Jul, Washington, D.C., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 'Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century'
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- Registration number