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Known as a Qibla Indicator, it is an instrument for calculating the position of Mecca from various cities throughout the world by means of a map and a magnetic compass and pointer (both now missing). Mecca is shown in the upper half of the upper circle with a lengthy inscription giving details of the maker and the recipient, while the lower circle carries a map of lands in Europe, Africa and Asia North of the equator with, below, a key of 392 numbered cities corresponding to their positions on the map.

By holding the piece in a horizontal position and aligning the compass needle north, the pointer will indicate the direction a person should face when praying.

Details on the inscription show that the piece was invented by one al Barun Al mukhtari for the Grand Vizier Tegen Mehmet Pasha in AH 1152 (AD 1738).

The piece is set into a slightly later frame inscribed AH 1174 to a cartouche, and both the frame and the panel background are decorated with flowers in the prevailing rococo style. The piece is also contained in a marbled wooden case, and despite its the size – the panel measures 2ft 1in x 121/2in (64 x 32cm) and the case 2ft 9in x 17in (85 x 43cm) – it seems that this would have been used as a portable object.

Bonhams could not remember another Qibla-Indicator appearing at auction. Of the three or four other examples recorded, most are in museums, two of them in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin and the Museo Correr, Venice, are both by the same maker and are virtually identical to this example in format.