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An aquamanile was a jug used both in the home and at church for washing hands ('aqua' means water in Latin and 'manus' hand). These jugs were made from precious metals, base metals or ceramic. From the 12th century onwards aquamaniles depicting lions, horses, dragons and other beasts were very popular. The lion was a popular symbol of lordship and power. This object could have been designed to convey the status and importance of its owner or might have referred to a heraldic device.
Bronze vessel in the shape of a grotesque lion with a female figure holding a sword as handle.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Height: 24.5 cm, Length: 33 cm
Bronze vessel in the shape of a lion with a female figure as handle. Possibly Germany, 1300-1400.
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Bloch, Peter Aquamanilien: Mittelalterliche Bronzen für sakralen und profanen Gebrauch , Gebundene Ausgabe, 1981
Metalwork; Animals and Wildlife; Containers