The Franklin Mint Astrolabe

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The sighting line of the Astrolabe
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The sighting line of the Astrolabe

A Beautiful Instrument!

This Franklin Mint Astrolabe was produced in 1987 and appears in Ebay auctions regularly.  It is heavy in solid brass, and the side not pictured shows about 21 stars.  It is shiny, coated in some way to avoid tarnishing, and can be set for 40 or 50 degrees North.  I am delighted to own this replica, for the real  thing would cost a fortune.  
However when I first examined it I was confused by the sighting holes which I mark approximately with white squares.  The sighting line I mark with a black line.  I have checked several sales of this Astrolabe and they all have this feature.  The sighting holes are drilled in a pair of angle sections each fitted to the sighting bar with two screws.  If these screws are carefully removed with a proper screwdriver and each angle section is turned around then the two sighting holes sit closer together but exactly on the sighting line.  The Astrolabe works correctly.
Of course no-one is going to use this instrument for its original purpose but it is nice to have the Astrolabe looking business-like and ready to navigate.   I do not think this matters at all but am surprised to have seen no reference to this point elsewhere.   And in any case nearly every picture I see of this Astrolabe is of the other starry side.  
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