Kitab fi marifat al-hiyal al-handasiyya by al-Jazari
Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices

MS copied in Egypt in 1354 CE

Copied by Farrukh ibn Abd al-Latif
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
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Folio from an Automata by al-Jazari; part of a water-clock, with a man seated in a balcony
1354
Mamluk period
Opaque watercolor, gold, silver and ink on paper
H: 39.7 W: 27.5 cm
Egypt
F1932.19
Smithsonian
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Page of an Arabic manuscript on mechanical devices for raising, storing and serving water (the Kitab fi ma'arifat alhiyal al handasiya of Abu'l-Izz Isma'il Ibn al Razzaz al Jazari). The picture represents a vessel for holding water. A man seated upon it with a rod.
al-Jazari's "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices": The Beaker Water Clock
Islamic, Mamluk, February 1354 (Safar 755 A.H.)
probably Cairo, Egypt
Dimensions: H x W: 39 x 28.5 cm (15 3/8 x 11 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique: Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper
Classification: Books and manuscripts
Type: Painted page from a manuscript
Accession Number: 14.532
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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Viz. the Kitab fi ma'arifat al-hiyal al handasiya of Abu'l Izz Isma'il Ibn al Razzaz al Ghazari. The picture (Chapter 11, 9th sakl) represents two mechanical figures in a domed building, pouring wine or water from flagons into cups.
al-Jazari's "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices": Device for Display at a Drinking Party
Islamic, Mamluk, Manuscript dated equivalent to 1354
probably Cairo, Egypt
Dimensions: H x W: 38 x 28 cm (14 15/16 x 11 in.)
Medium or Technique: Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper
Classification: Books and manuscripts
Type: Painted page from a manuscript
Accession Number: 15.114
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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al-Jazari's "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices": The Castle Water Clock
Egyptian
Mamluk period
1354
Object Place: probably Cairo, Egypt
Dimensions: 39.37 x 27.62 cm (15 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.)
Accession Number: 14.533
Medium or Technique: Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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The Reckoner's Blood-letting Basin
Cairo Codex of 1354
p296 Inside and outside, picture and page:
The architectual spaces of miniature painting
Margaret S. Graves




A manuscript of Kitab fi marifat al-hiyal al-handasiyya by al-Jazari, copied in Syria or Egypt in 1315 CE



See also Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers from Egypt and Syria
14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers