A rare medieval bronze aquamanile in the shape of a four-legged animal, with a curled tail whose upper part protrudes, its stocky body with short wings to the side. The face with human features, bulging eyes and a wide open mouth. The lid on the back of the animal is missing, of which only both hinges are left.
The cast bronze shows traces of the finish with a file after casting, and also a beautiful patina with traces of corrosion and cuprite. The inside has a beautiful crusty patina, which shows that the lid has been lost for a long time. The bronze exhibits some typical small casting flaws that have been filled, which are characteristic of early cast bronze, as air bubbles formed into the mold.
An aquamanile - from "aqua" (water) and "manus" (hand) - is a vessel that contained water for priests to wash their hands during mass. Such vessels became also popular at the courts of the secular rules where they had more profane uses.
Germanic. Late Romanesque. Late 12th/early 13th century.
Provenance: from a private collection in the U.K.
Dimensions: height 6cm ; length 10cm ; width 5,5cm
2 500 €
4 800 €
38 000 €