Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Turret Laver

15th century
Overall: 21 x 5 7/8 in., 6.299lb. (53.3 x 14.9 cm, 2857g)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
47.101.56a, b
Not on view
Although this object is frequently called an aquamanile, it does not satisfy the definition: true aquamanilia are handheld and generally provided with a handle for that purpose. This vessel was designed to stand on a shelf with a basin below. The small heads surrounding the tower mimic the gargoyles of monumental architecture, which were designed to manage rainwater.
J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York ; [ Duveen Brothers, London, Paris and New York (ca. 1920)] ; [ Raphael Stora, Paris and New York (sold 1939)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1939–1947)]
Rorimer, James J. "A Treasury at the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 6, no. 9 (May 1948). p. 253.

Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 56, pp. 124-125, 257.

Husband, Timothy B., and Jane Hayward, ed. The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages. New York: Dutton Publishing, 1975. no. 70, p. 64.

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