Aquamanile in the Form of a Unicorn

Date: ca. 1425–50

Geography: Made in Nuremberg, Germany

Culture: German

Medium: Copper alloy

Dimensions: Overall (to tip of horn): 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 4 7/16 in. (39.4 x 29.2 x 11.3 cm)
Weight PD: 108.8oz. (3085g)

Classification: Metalwork-Copper alloy

Credit Line: Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964

Accession Number: 64.101.1493


This aquamanile takes the form of the mythical unicorn, a composite of the horse and goat with a single horn projecting from the center of the animal's forehead (the twisted horn seen here is probably a later replacement). Although the unicorn was a popular image throughout the Middle Ages, few unicorn aquamanilia have survived.