Aquamanile in the Form of a Mounted Knight


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304

Aquamanilia, from the Latin words meaning "water" and "hands," served to pour water over the hands of priests before celebrating Mass and of diners at table. This aquamanile, in the form of a horse and rider, exemplifies the courtly ideals of knighthood that pervaded Western medieval culture and influenced objects intended for daily use. It depicts a type of armor that disappeared toward the third quarter of the thirteenth century. Unfortunately, the shield—which probably displayed the arms of the owner—and the lance are no longer extant.

Aquamanile in the Form of a Mounted Knight, Copper alloy, German

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