[Quadrant]. Paper-covered wood showing coloured scales.

Ottoman Empire, 19th century.

18.9 x 19.8 cm. Gouache with some gilt dots and ink on paper.


Quadrants were simple measuring devices used in astronomy, field measurements, and navigation. Based on the position of the sun or the polar star, the user is able to determine his position without difficulty.

The papered covers show occasional defects and slight waviness in places. While functional, the present instrument is probably a simpler copy of an older model, not actually intended for use but rather for representational purposes. Some of the Arabic lettering is missing or illegible, and the highlights are not executed with genuine gilding but in gold paint.


Cf. Heritage Library, Islamic Treasures, s. v. "Instruments" (illustration).