“The Elephant Clock”, Folio from a Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by al-Jazari
Date: dated A.H. 715/A.D. 1315
Syria, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Every half hour, the bird on the dome whistled; the man below dropped a ball into the dragon’s mouth; and the driver hit the elephant with his goad. While illustrated manuscripts were growing increasingly popular at the time, this folio is a rare survival from Syria, where few such manuscripts are known from this date.