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Aquamanile in the Form of a Dwarf Centaur
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Aquamanile in the Form of a Dwarf Centaur


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The name of this form of pitcher derives from the Latin "aqua" meaning water, and "manus," meaning hand; it was used to wash the hands both in ritual contexts and at table. In the Middle Ages, food was eaten with the fingers so that hands needed frequent washing. This aquamanile is one of the few surviving examples to fill two purposes: holding water and providing light. The outstretched hands of the centaur (half man, half horse) would have held two candlesticks. The design of the faucet and its little mythological animal handle is of Syrian origin.
Exhibitions
  • The Arts of Man. Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas. 1962.
  • A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 2016-2017.
Provenance Marquise de Ganay, née Ridgway, Paris; Arnold Seligmann, Rey et Cie., Marquise de Ganay Estate Sale, Paris, 1929; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1929 by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1929

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Creator
Period
1450-1500 (Late Medieval)
Medium
bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.62
Measurements
H: 11 7/16 x L: 11 5/16 x D: 4 1/16 in. (29 x 28.7 x 10.32 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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