Horse and Hunter Aquamanile thumbnail 1
Horse and Hunter Aquamanile thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Horse and Hunter Aquamanile

Ewer
ca. 1200-1250 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This Scandinavian ewer is in the form of a man on horseback, with a two-headed serpent for a handle. It was probably used to carry and pour water. The rider has an opening in his bare head through which the ewer could be filled, and the stallion's mouth forms the spout.

It is made of bronze, a metal that was particularly suited to casting in moulds to make free-standing objects. This example is a development of a medieval tradition of casting representations of real, fabulous or mythological creatures in brass.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cast bronze
Brief Description
Horse and Hunter Aquamanile, bronze, probably Scandinavia (Denmark), ca. 1200-1250
Physical Description
In the form of a bare-headed horseman wearing a split surcoat, seated in a high saddle with a saddle cloth. Pendants are roughly engraved beneath the band round the front of the horse. The handle is in the form of a serpent with a head at each end.
Dimensions
  • Length: 21cm
  • Height: 23cm
  • Width: 9cm
Dimensions were taken by SCP on 08.12.14 for Bronze Zoo: A Sculptural Menagerie
Object history
Purchased from F.A. Drey, London, 1949. Previously in the possession of the antiquary and collector Philip Nelson, Liverpool, who reported that it was ‘found in Somerset’ (Nelson 1932, p. 447).
Subjects depicted
Summary
This Scandinavian ewer is in the form of a man on horseback, with a two-headed serpent for a handle. It was probably used to carry and pour water. The rider has an opening in his bare head through which the ewer could be filled, and the stallion's mouth forms the spout.



It is made of bronze, a metal that was particularly suited to casting in moulds to make free-standing objects. This example is a development of a medieval tradition of casting representations of real, fabulous or mythological creatures in brass.
Bibliographic References
  • Falke, Otto v., and Meyer, Erich, Romanische Leuchter und Gefasse Giesgefasse der Gotik, Berlin 1935, reprint 1983, Cat. 323, (ill. p. 295a & b), pages 49 (text), 108 (catalogue) and 129 (illustrations)
  • Nelson, Philip. “An English Equestrian Aquamanile.” Antiquaries Journal, 12 (1932): 446-48.
  • Luchs, Alison. “Aquamanile in the Form of a Horseman.” In Rudolf Distelberger a.o. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art, Systematic Catalogue. Western Decorative Arts, Part I, Medieval, Renaissance, and Historicizing Styles including Metalwork, Enamels and Ceramics, 28-32. Washington D.C., 1993, pp. 30-31, fig. 1.
  • Luchs, Alison. Aquamanile in the Form of a Horseman. In Rudolf Distelberger a.o. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art, Systematic Catalogue. Western Decorative Arts, Part I, Medieval, Renaissance, and Historicizing Styles including Metalwork, Enamels and Ceramics, 28-32. Washington D.C., 1993, pp. 30-31, fig. 1.
Collection
Accession Number
M.70-1949

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record createdFebruary 10, 2004
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