Folio from Kitab fi ma`arifat al-hiyal al-handisaya (The book of knowledge of ingenious mechanical devices) Automata by al-Jazari (d.1206); recto: A hand-washing device in the form of a woman holding a pitcher; verso: text
- Detached manuscript folio
- Calligrapher: Farruq ibn Abd al-Latif
- Historical period(s)
- Mamluk period, 1315 (715 A.H.)
- Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
- H x W: 31.1 x 21.6 cm (12 1/4 x 8 1/2 in)
- probably Syria
- Credit Line
- Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
- Freer Gallery of Art
- Accession Number
- Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Kitab fi ma`arifat al-hiyal al-handisaya (The book of knowledge of ingenious mechanical devices), "Automata," by al-Jazari; text: Arabic in black and red naskh script; recto: A hand-washing device in the form of a woman holding a pitcher; verso: text, one column, 21 lines; one of a group of 8 folios.
- Commonly referred to as the Automata al-Jazari's scientific text is among the most fascinating illustrated works from the Arab world. It is devoted to the construction of fifty mechanical devices, ranging from fountains, clocks, and automated palace gates to pitchers, locks, and bolts.
One chapter discusses hand-washing devices, such as this large ewer held by a kneeling female attendant in a domed pavilion. Al-Jazari maintains that once the bird whistles, water pours into a basin below. A duck then drinks the used water and releases it through its tail into a container hidden under the platform.
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York to 1930 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York in 1930 
 Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 1.
- Former owner
- Hagop Kevorkian (1872 - 1962)
- On View Location
- Currently not on view
- Collection(s) Area
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resource(s)
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
- Copyright with museum