The image on the stamp
shows Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf al Shemi al-Asadi and his
colleagues at the observatory of Taqf ad-Din in Istanbul in 1577 (A.H.
985). The observatory was demolished on the orders of Sultan Murad III
in 1580, when Taqi's prediction of an Ottoman victory over the
Persians, based on the appearance of
a comet, failed.
A universal astrolabe of the saphea form is
lying on the table in front of the man with the dividers and paper.
The man next to him is sighting a quadrant astrolabe, the man in blue
in front of the table is holding a similar instrument. On the table in
front of the man with the quadrant astrolabe is an armillary sphere.
Next to it is a sand glass timer. The second man in green
is holding an astrolabe of the usual form. On the far right on the
table is a mechanical clock. Something similar to a
cross-staff is being used by the man behind the table on the left,
while a similar instrument is on the table on the right (its hard to
see on the stamp). In the center of the foreground is a circular map.
(The original shows the continent of Africa.)
The painting is from
Shahinshah-nama (History of the King of Kings), by ’Ala
ad-Din Mansur-Shirazi, in honor of Sultan Murad III.