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THREE TREATISES ON ASTRONOMY BY KARIM KHAN KIRMANI (D. 1871 AD)
AN ASTRONOMICAL MANUAL
AN ASTRONOMICAL MANUAL
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THREE TREATISES ON ASTRONOMY BY KARIM KHAN KIRMANI (D. 1871 AD)

SIGNED MUHAMMAD JAWAD BIN MUHAMMAD 'ALI AL-KIRMANI, QAJAR IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1312/JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1895 AD

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THREE TREATISES ON ASTRONOMY BY KARIM KHAN KIRMANI (D. 1871 AD)
SIGNED MUHAMMAD JAWAD BIN MUHAMMAD 'ALI AL-KIRMANI, QAJAR IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1312/JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1895 AD
Three treatises bound together, the first titled Khulasa al-taqwim (Summary of Calendar); the second titled Risala al-mizan on the use and making of astrolabes, the third a treatise titled Risala halqa karimi, a manual on the Karimi 'ring', Persian manuscript of paper, 64ff., each folio with 19ll. of fine black naskh, headings and occasional words in red, various tables within the text, colophon signed and dated, the lacquer binding painted with an astrolabe quadrant, together with two lacquered papier-mâché scientific instruments, one a ring instrument signed Muhammad Baqir bin Ibrahim and dated AH 1281, probably the Karim 'ring' mentioned in the treatise, the other a compass with various indications and readings
Folio 8 ¼ x 5 ½in. (21 x 13.9cm.)
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Sara Plumbly
Sara Plumbly

Lot Essay

Karim ibn Ibrahim is Karim Khan Kirmani was distant cousin to Fath 'Ali Shah Qajar and a 19th century polymath. He was born in 1809-10 and died in 1871. As leader of the Shaykhi movement, he redacted a number of tracts against the Babists and Baha'is. Karim Khan was a prolific author, covering the whole field of Islamic and philosophical sciences, including alchemy, medicine, optics and music.

The first treatise in this manual is Khulasat al-Taqwim (Summary of the Calendar). Its introduction states that it is a summary in the form of tables for ikhtiyarat: the selection of auspicious moments according to the day, the station of the moon and the zodiac as well as a means of introduction of the solar and lunar calendars, the hours of the day, the night, and knowledge of horoscopes. 

The other two works in this manuscript are also by Karim Khan Kirmani are the Risala al-Mizan, on the use of the astrolabe and Risala-i Halqa-i Karimi (The Treatise on the Karimi Ring), which is about an instrument that the author himself developed in place of the astrolabe. It is fascinating that this curious 'ring' instrument is offered here with this manuscript.

The colophon states that "it was completed by the hand of its compiler Karim bin Ibrahim on the first day of the month of Muharram AH 1259/1st February 1843 AD. However another inscription in the same hand states that it was “approved” by Muhammad Javad ibn Muhammad bin ‘Ali al-Kirmani in Sha’ban AH 1312/Jan-Feb 1895. This probably means that it was copied by Muhammad Javad from Karim bin Ibrahim’s (the author's) original copy.

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