Peacock-shaped Hand Washing Device: Illustration from The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Automata) of Inb al-Razza al-Jazari (recto)

Peacock-shaped Hand Washing Device: Illustration from The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Automata) of Inb al-Razza al-Jazari (recto)

1315

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Overall: 31.3 x 21.5 cm (12 5/16 x 8 7/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1945.383.a

Description

The Arabic title of this work is Kitab fi ma'rifat al-hiyal al handasiyya (The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices). According to the description of the device illustrated here, the peacock is filled with water: as it flows into the vessel below, it raises a float that opens a door in the section above, causing the little figure to move forward offering soap; as more water flows, a second door will open and another figure will move forward offering a towel. Finally, the dirty water is drawn off by means of a spigot.

See also
Collection: 
Islamic Art
Department: 
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 
Manuscript

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