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Illustrations of costume from
Kitāb Na‛t al-ḥayawān
A treatise on animals and the medical properties of the various parts of their bodies, compiled from works of Aristotle and Ibn Bakhtishū‛.

British Library, manuscript Or.2784., possibly painted in Baghdad, 13th century, c 1220, before 1258

Bestiary describing the characteristics and medical uses of a large number of animals. The anonymous compiler of the work (see f. 95r) claims it is based on writings by Aristotle (d. 322 BC) and Abū Sa‘īd ‘Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā’īl ibn ‘Ubayd Allāh ibn Bakhtīshū‘ ibn Jibrā’īl ibn Bakhtīshū‘ ibn Jūrjis ibn Jibrā’īl (d. ca 1058).

The text contains eighty-six illustrations of very high artistic quality. The present order of the folios is faulty, and the text is defective at the beginning and end. A full reconstruction of their order along with a description of all illustrations can be found in Contadini, A World of Beasts (Leiden: Brill, 2011) pp. 25-37 and 167-69.

Extent and format: Codex ; ff. ii+258+iii
Physical characteristics
Material: Paper
Dimensions: 235 x 160 mm leaf [190 x 110 mm written]
Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil
Ruling: Misṭarah ; 9 lines per page; vertical spacing 6 lines per 10 cm
Script: Naskh
Ink: Black ink, with rubricated headings
Decoration: Illustrated (ff. 2v-4r, 96r and 101v) and textual (ff. 4v-5r) frontispieces with gold borders
Binding: British Museum binding
Condition: Many leaves damaged and repaired
Marginalia: Occasional marginal notes in Arabic and Persian
Seals: F. 1r and 257v
Written in Arabic in Arabic script
Qatar Digital Library

Text links to the illustrations:
1st Frontispiece. A man holding a book.
2nd Frontispiece. An Old Man.
3rd Frontispiece. A Ruler and Guards.
4th Frontispiece. A Ruler and Guards.
Two men thinking.
Ibn Bakhtishū‛ and a pupil.
A man and a woman.

See also An Arabic Translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides, Iraq, 1224
Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers