Aquamanile in the Form of a Griffin

Date: ca. 1425–50

Culture: German, Nuremberg

Medium: Bronze; Ternary copper alloy with a very high content of zinc (approx. 74%
copper, approx. 22% zinc, approx. 2% lead) with natural patina, hollow cast.

Dimensions: H. 31.9 cm, w. 12 cm (chest without wings), l. 32.3 cm
(including spout), wt. 3588 g and 488 g (wings).

Classification: Metalwork-Bronze

Credit Line: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Accession Number: 1975.1.1413


This magnificent aquamanile in the form of a griffin with (separately cast) outstretched wings can be grouped stylistically with the unicorn (64.101.1493) and a few other examples that were probably produced by the same Nuremberg workshop in the second quarter of the fifteenth century. The aquamanile was filled through a hole between the ears, and water was poured from the spigot in the chest, likely a rare surviving original element.