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).
A clue to the date of this figure is the rider’s helmet, a type without visor that came into fashion in northern Italy around 1410.
Baron Arthur Schickler 1828–1919, Paris and Château Martinvast ; Hubert de Pourtalès, Château Martinvast, Normandy (sold 1936) ; [ Brummer Gallery (1936, through Guiraud Frères–sold 1947)]
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.