Illustrated commentary on astronomical instruments

Fakhri'zadah al-Mawsili, 'Abd Allah. Sawanih al-qarihah fi sharh al-safihah fi 'ilm al-asturlab.

Qom, Qajar Persia, [ca. 1870 / 19th century CE].

Oblong (safina) 8vo (173 x 124 mm). Arabic manuscript on cream-coloured wove paper. 28 leaves. 13 lines of black nasta'liq within gilt borders and black double rules. With a fine polychrome and gilt 'unwan headpiece on opening page and several charts and diagrams in red and black ink as well as in colours. Contemporary limp red maroon morocco binding.


A commentary by Sayyid Abu Muhammad 'Abd Allah ibn Fakhr al-Din al-Husayni al-A'raj (d. 1775), known as Fakhri'zadah al-Mawsili, on the "Treatise on the Tympanum Concerning the Astrolabe" by the Levantine Arab polymath Baha' al-Din Muhammad ibn Husayn al-'Amili (1547-1621). Bahaddin 'Amili was one of the earliest astronomers in the Islamic world to suggest the possibility of the Earth's movement prior to the spread of the Copernican theory. This commentary is recorded as having been completed at Basra in 1736.

Prettily illustrated with several astronomical diagrams and instruments. Undated (colophon stating only the first of Shabat), but apparently a copy prepared in the 19th century, signed by the scribe Nadir Aqajani from Qom.