Accession No


Brief Description

4-inch celestial globe, in bronze and silver, Arabic, by H ibn M Muqim ibn Isa, 1655-1659


India; Lahore (now Pakistan)


H ibn M Muqim ibn Isa



Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1655

Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1655

Inscription Date


metal (bronze, silver)


diameter 100mm

Special Collection



(see file)
SNT [sic error for sanca[t] galil al-cibad [the unworthy servant]
Hamid ibn Muhammed Muqim ibn Ilahdad Asturla [bi] Luhure Himayuni...tr0 al-tavikh 21 sahr shawwal sina[t] 1065

Description Notes

4-inch celestial globe, in bronze and silver, Arabic, by H ibn M Muqim ibn Isa, c. 1655.

Brass; engraved with equator and ecliptic and names of stars. Zodiac names along ecliptic. Positions of 67 stars marked by inlaid (?) silver circles. Large circle (36mm diameter) of darkened brass across equator.
Equator graduated 2 x 180 numbered by 5 to 1. Ecliptic has each sign graduated 0-30 numbered by 5 to 1.
Holes at celestial poles for axis (?).

Condition good; complete.


Joshua Nall; ‘Local Knowledge’; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge; 2020:


Celestial globes modelled the heavens and the location of stars in relation to one another. In the early modern period, stars were envisioned as fixed within a transparent matrix—the celestial sphere—located at the very edge of the visible universe. In the seventeenth-century Islamic world, globe makers regularly depended on Ptolemy’s star catalogue for the location of stars on their globes. Ptolemy’s Almagest provided instruction for the design of celestial globes and the means of dividing a sphere in order to mark out the positions of stars. This celestial globe is modelled on the Ptolemaic system of the universe and depicts only the major stars used in astrolabe calculations. It was made by Hamid ibn Muhammed Muqim who came from a family-run workshop that produced astronomical instruments in Lahore, now in Pakistan. Hamid’s grand-father Allahadad was a master-craftsman from the region and possibly had been an instrument maker at the Humayun court (r. 1530–1540 and 1555–1556). Hamid’s cousin, Diya al-Din Muhammad was the most prolific producer of instruments from this workshop. Examples of Hamid’s workmanship are few, however: of the 126 extant Islamicate celestial globes, only one is attributed to Hamid.

Created by: Allison Ksiazkiewicz on 14/01/2014


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