Vintage Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Astrolabe Complete Set of Twelve Plates,
The Piero Fornasetti porcelain gold, black and white plates each depict a different astrolabe and are a complete set numbered from one to twelve.
Dimensions: 8.27 inches diameter x 1 inch high (21.01cm diameter x 2.54cm high)
Mark: Astrolabio in a banner over a green porcelain undermark above Fornasetti hand and brush.
An astrolabe (Greek: astrolabon, "star-taker") is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and vice-versa, surveying, triangulation, and to cast horoscopes. It was used in classical antiquity, through the Islamic Golden Age, the European Middle Ages, and Renaissance for all these purposes.
In the Islamic world, it was also used to calculate the Qibla and to find the times for Salah, prayers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrolabe)
Reference: See a similar Astrolabe plate in the Victoria & Albert Museum's Collection, Museum # C.63-1985. (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O170005/plate-fornasetti-piero/)