Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

Date:
ca. 1200
Culture:
North German
Medium:
Copper alloy with inlaid glass
Dimensions:
Overall: 8 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 4 3/8 in. (21.2 x 18.2 x 11.1 cm), 6.091lb. (2763g) Overall PD: 10 1/2 x 4 9/16 x 10 13/16 in. (26.7 x 11.6 x 27.4 cm) Thickness PD: 2/25-3/25 in. (0.20-0.30 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
47.101.52
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
Derived from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus), an aquamanile (plural: aquamanilia) is an animal- or human-shaped water vessel used in hand washing, an essential component of religious and secular rituals in the Middle Ages. Aquamanilia were the first cast vessels of medieval Europe. Usually cast in copper alloy through the lostwax process (cire perdue), the hundreds of surviving examples date from the twelfth through fifteenth century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has one of the most important collections of aquamanilia in the world, with examples at The Cloisters and in the main building on Fifth Avenue, in both the medieval galleries and the Lehman Collection.
Hubert de Pourtalès, Château Martinvast, Normandy (sold 1936) ; [ Brummer Gallery(1936, through Guiraud Frères–sold 1947)]
Rorimer, James J. "A Treasury at the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 6, no. 9 (May 1948). p. 252.

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. 54, pp. 120-121, 257.

Barnet, Peter, and Pete Dandridge, ed. Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 5, pp. 82-87.

Dandridge, Pete. "Exquisite Objects, Prodigious Technique: Aquamanilia, Vessels of the Middle Ages." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 5, pp. 44-46, 48-49, 54-56, fig. 3-8, 33-14, 3-18, Appears in Table 1 of chapter.

Newman, Richard. "Analysis of Core and Investment Samples from Some Aquamanilia." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 5, pp. 57, 59-60, 62-63, fig. 4-5, Featured in Table 1 and Table 2 of chapter.

Dandridge, Pete. "Gegossene Phantasien: Mittelalterliche Aquamanilien und ihre Herstellung." In Bild und Bestie: Hildesheimer Bronzen der Stauferzeit, edited by Michael Brandt. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008. p. 94; p. 94, no. 78.

Mende, Ursula. Die mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum: Bestandskatalog. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2013. pp. 182 n. 7, 185, fig. 213.



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