Description Aquamanilia, or water pitchers, present an interesting case of intercultural exchange across great distances. This type of vessel is a small, closed water pourer, often shaped as an animal or mythological creature. The form developed in the ancient Near East, and many of the animals shown, whether real or mythical, also derive from Near Eastern prototypes: lions were particularly favored. This unusual example bears a Hebrew inscription on one side that reads, "Blessed be the King of the Universe, who has instructed us to wash our hands," indicating that it served a ceremonial function, either in a Jewish home or synagogue. Whether this inscription is original to this piece or added later, it attests to the diverse cultural communities served by the same type of object.
|1/05/1977||Examination||examined for loan|
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Stein Sale, Paris, 1899, no.139; Henri Daguerre, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, 1927, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] On the side and rear hip of the lion: ברוך אתה ה אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על נטילת ידים ; [Translation] Blessed be God, King of the Universe, who blessed us and instructed us to wash our hands (Baruch ata adonai alokhenu meleh Ha-olam asher Ridshanu bemitsvotsar vetsivanu al netilas yadayim)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1927
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