The Rising Stars in the Mention of Some of the Arts Required in the Science of Timekeeping


The colophon of the present manuscript—on the recto of the second folio—offers a potentially misleading view of the subject of this 16th-century treatise by Muḥammad ibn Abī al-Ḫayr al-Ḥasanī. Al-Nujūm al-Šāriqāt fī dikr baʻḍ al-ṣanā'īʻ al-Muḥtāj ilayhā fī ʻIlm al-Mīqāt (The rising stars in the mention of some of the arts required in the science of timekeeping) does not deal with the measurement of time but with the art of painting. In particular, the treatise is devoted to the materials, inks, pigments, and instruments needed by the painter. The first page of the manuscript does not belong with the main text and is written in a later hand, possibly the same hand that penned the extensive notes that fill the margins of some of the pages of this work. The treatise describes in detail various methods for obtaining pigments and inks from different inorganic and organic materials, such as mastic, sandarac, sulfur, cinnabar, lapis lazuli, and safflower. The treatise deals with the ways of testing the quality of colors as well and devotes a chapter to the use of glues for preparing the surface of writing or painting paper.


Title in Original Language

النجوم الشارقات في ذكر بعض الصنايع المحتاج إليها في علم الميقات

Type of Item

Physical Description

42 leaves (17 lines), bound : paper ; 23 x 16 centimeters


Last updated: April 24, 2014