Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Magical Object


I found this in a junk shop in Khan el Khalili. It was black but I could see that it was initially brass. There were three metal discs with designs carved into them that fit inside the circular face of the object. A hand, also engraved with designs fit onto a post so that it could allow the discs and a specially cut out disc of heavier weight brass rotate. My handyman at the farm cleaned everything and now we have this totally fascinating object that no one knows how to use.

12 comments:

Dina said...

Very beautiful and mysterious!

Vincent said...

That is fascinating! What a wonderful find. It looks a lot like an Islamic calendarical device, or astrolobe.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamshane/3261866968/in/photostream/

http://www.astrolabes.org/

http://www.iranchamber.com/calendar/articles/astrology_astronomy_iran_mesopotamia.php

http://www.tutorgig.com/ed/Astrolabe

How exciting!

Vincent.

Urang Awak said...

I love brasswork Marianne! and this one is so beautiful. Please let us know once you found out what it is!

Noblese said...

Very interesting object. Would like to know more.
Nice blog too!

vagabondblogger said...

It's beautiful. Could it be a pocket sundial?

Roqaya said...

wow, wonderful. you r very lucky to find it

alajnabiya said...

If you haven't already, I think you should write the author from the page Vincent gave you, http://www.astrolabes.org/

Please update us if you do, since I am very curious about it.

Maybe he can tell you exactly what you have. And I wonder if you should have cleaned it quite so thoroughly, as it may be quite old. What a fascinating discovery!

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

I consulted the gentleman at www.astrolabes.org who told me that it is sort of a quasi-astrolabe. That is it was made to look like an astrolabe and be very interesting, but that it doesn't actually work. Too bad. It's still very neat.

alajnabiya said...

How strange! I have seen modern, reproduction astrolabes before, but never a fake one. It's still beautiful, and a cool find. Thanks for the update.

cat said...

be entertained

[¯Ô¯]njoy said...

How interesting! Years from now you'll learn that this device chose you to help it save the world. :D
Keep it safe!

Anonymous said...

By coincidence I found this blog:

http://moroccanmaryam.typepad.com/my_marrakesh/2009/04/marrakech-and-a-tale-of-astrological-signs.html

It seems you happened to find the same beautiful object.

Lilian, Alexandria