Its hexagonal base, decorated with marble panels and pilasters, is all that remains of what is known to have been an magnificent sabil (drinking fountain) that used to stand in front of Old Jaffa's main gate. The sabil had a similar appearance to the graceful sabil in front of al-Jazzar's mosque in Acre. Above its base, six pillars held a wooden roof or possibly a lavish dome.
The sabil was built by Abu Nabbut, governor of Jaffa in the beginning of the 19th century. Abu Nabbut lifted the face of Jaffa after it was badly destroyed by Napoleon's soldiers in 1799. He ordered the reinforcement of the city's walls, blockage of all its gates apart from the main entrance, improvement of its port, the construction of a khan, a market and two sabils and the rebuilding of al-Mahmudiyya Mosque.
The sabil was transferred to its current location in the beginning of the 20th century to make way for the widening of the roads next to Jaffa's main gate.
Or, Even, Peder, Shimon and Shaham, Zvi. 1988. Midrakhon Yafo: Madrikh leSiyur Azmi. Tel Aviv: Israel Museum.
Petersen, Andrew. 2001. A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Part 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 172.