The rooster’s majestic tail feathers splay in rhythmic arcs as he crows, full-throated. The artist who modeled the bird boldly balanced the body on its tiny talons.
This elaborate water vessel was intended for handwashing. A specialty of metalworkers in German-speaking lands for centuries—from the twelfth to the fifteenth—they are called aquamanilia, from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus).
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Title:Aquamanile in the Form of a Rooster
Geography:Made in Lower Saxony, Germany
Dimensions:9 15/16 x 4 1/8 x 9 3/4 in. (25.2 x 10.5 x 24.7 cm) Thickness: 11/16-15/16 in. (0.18-0.24 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 1989
[ Walter Randel, Paris and New York (sold 1989)]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mirror of the Medieval World," March 9–June 1, 1999.
New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages. Vessels for Church and Table," July 12, 2006–October 15, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
Clark, William W., and Charles T. Little. "Notable Recent Acquisitions, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters, New York." Gesta 29. no. 2 (1990). p. 239, fig. 1.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1989-1990." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 48, no. 2 (Fall 1990). pp. 20–21.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 136, pp. 114–15.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 72, pp. 108, 196.
Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 27, pp. 108–11.
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. 12, pp. 110–113.
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. 12, pp. 48–50, 54–56; p. 42, no. 35, fig. 3–16, Appears in Table 1 of chapter.
Dandridge, Pete. "Gegossene Phantasien: Mittelalterliche Aquamanilien und ihre Herstellung." In Bild und Bestie: Hildesheimer Bronzen der Stauferzeit, edited by Michael Brandt. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008. pp. 93–96; p. 93, no. 74; p. 94, no. 77, p. 96, no. 88.
Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 112.
Mende, Ursula. Die mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum: Bestandskatalog. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2013. pp. 189–190, fig. 218.
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