Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Vessel in the Shape of a Bear

Date:
3rd–4th century
Geography:
Made in possibly Rome, Italy
Culture:
Roman or Byzantine
Medium:
Copper alloy, cast
Dimensions:
Overall: 5 7/16 x 6 9/16 x 3 5/8 in. (13.8 x 16.7 x 9.2 cm) chain length: 11 in. (28 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1966
Accession Number:
66.18
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
The bear was a popular animal in exhibitions and circus acts. The vessel, probably used for oils or ointments for the bath, would have
been filled through the hinged opening at the back of the bear’s neck and emptied through its mouth.
[ John J. KlejmanNew York (until 1966)]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 160.

Kozloff, Arielle P. "A Bronze Menagerie." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 63, no. 3 (March 1976). pp. 83-88, fig. 27.

Barnet, Peter. "'Beasts of Every Land and Clime': An Introduction to Medieval 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. 31, pp. 3, 10.

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. 31, p. 178.

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. 31, p. 37.

Frings, Jutta, ed. Byzanz: Pracht und Alltag. Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2010. no. 306, p. 273.

Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara, ed. Earth, Sea, Sky: Nature in Western Art – Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, 2012. no. 44, pp. 97, 225.



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