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Francis Maddison and Emilie Savage-Smith, with contributions by Ralph Pinder-Wilson and Tim Stanley
This two-part volume contains a large and important group of objects and manuscripts that may be broadly categorised as scientific instruments, tools or magical implements.
Many objects of this kind have never before been systematically catalogued, and this volume brings together much information previously scattered to present a corpus of material for future comparative study.
The astronomical instruments are those primarily connected with the three fundamental motivations of Islamic astronomy: the determination of the times of prayer; of the azimuth of the qiblah and the direction of Mecca; and the teaching and practice of cosmology and astrology.
The Collection includes important individual pieces, among them a fine celestial globe made in 1285-6 and a unique Judeo-Arabic astrolabe of circa 1300. 218 entries include medical manuscripts, magic bowls, amulets and other magical or geomantic devices that reflect different aspects of medieval Islamic medical care, while a group of mortars, a selection from the large collection of locks, and miscellaneous tools such as scissors, scales and weights, complete this survey of objects which embody the varied preoccupations of Islamic culture.
The information presented includes a ground-breaking study of leather workers in medieval Iran.
Francis Maddison was formerly Curator, Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford; he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and author of several works on scientific instruments and their makers.
Dr Emilie Savage-Smith is Research Associate at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford, and author of several studies on medical and devinatory practices in the medieval Islamic world.
Ralph Pinder-Wilson was formerly Keeper, Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum, London, and has made an outstanding contribution to the study of the decorativre arts of Islam.
Tim Stanley is Deputy Curator of the Khalili Collection, and an Ottoman historian who has written mainly on the history of manuscripts and calligraphy.
set of two parts; 440 pages; fully illustrated in colour; numerous line drawings; section on documentary inscriptions
35.5 x 25.5 cm
hardback with dust jacket (slipcased)