Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

Date:
ca. 1230 or early nineteenth century
Culture:
North German, Lubeck (?)
Medium:
Bronze; binary copper alloy (approx. 88% copper, approx. 8% tin) hollow cast, chased, engraved, and gilded.
Dimensions:
H. 20.7 cm, w. 12.4 cm, l. 25.3 cm, wt. 2867 g.
Classification:
Metalwork
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1410
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 958
An aquamanile, from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus), is a vessel used in the ritual of hand washing in both religious and secular contexts—by the priest before Mass and in a private household before a meal. Surviving medieval examples were cast in copper alloy in the form of animals or figures. This crouching lion may have been made in Germany in the early thirteenth century, although some technical aspects point to a much later date. Thus, it may be an example of a medieval revival piece from northern Germany dating to the early nineteenth century.
O. Lembke, Wismar, by 1817; [sold by Lembke to an unidentified Dutch art dealer in 1882]; Baron Albert Freiherr von Oppenheim (1834 – 1912), Cologne, by 1897, until 1912; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York, 1912 – 13; [Duveen Brothers, New York]. Acquired by Philip Lehman through Duveen, along with (1975.1.1412) and (1975.1.1415), in February 1925.
Related Objects

Aquamanile in the Form of Aristotle and Phyllis

Date: late 14th or early 15th century Medium: Bronze; Quaternary copper alloy (approx. 72% copper, approx. 17% zinc, approx. 6% lead, approx. 3% tin). Accession: 1975.1.1416 On view in:Gallery 958

Aquamanile in the Form of Samson and the Lion

Date: ca. 1380–1400 Medium: Bronze; quaternary copper alloy (approx. 78% copper, approx. 10% zinc, approx. 6% tin, approx. 5% lead) with natural patina. Remnants of the iron armature are in the lion’s legs and the figure of Samson. Accession: 1975.1.1412 On view in:Gallery 953

Aquamanile in the Form of a Knight on Horseback

Date: ca. 1350 Medium: Bronze; Quaternary copper alloy with a high content of zinc (approx. 73% copper, approx. 15% zinc, approx. 7% lead, approx. 3% tin) with natural patina, hollow cast; remnants of the clay core and iron armature in the legs Accession: 1975.1.1409 On view in:Gallery 953

Aquamanile in the Form of a Griffin

Date: ca. 1425–50 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. Accession: 1975.1.1413 On view in:Gallery 953

Double cup (Doppelscheuer)

Date: late 19th century Medium: Colorless (slightly gray) nonlead glass. Blown, enameled, gilt. Accession: 1975.1.1154a,b On view in:Gallery 954