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Handwasher (Aquamanile) in the Form of a Cheetah
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Handwasher (Aquamanile) in the Form of a Cheetah


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This fearsome-looking cheetah is one of a small group of Islamic animal bronzes made for use as incense burners, pouring vessels (called aquamaniles), and fountain fixtures. Trained cheetahs were favorite hunting animals in the Islamic world, especially at royal courts. This taste was emulated by the Christian kings of Sicily, who featured felines in the decoration of their palaces. Objects like this aquamanile also inspired artists in Germany and other parts of northern Europe, beginning in the 13th century.
Exhibitions
  • Russian Art: Icons and Decorative Arts from the Origin to the Twentieth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1959-1960.
  • The Meeting of Two Worlds: The Crusades and the Mediterranean Context. The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. 1981.
  • The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1958, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1958

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Creators
Period
11th-13th century (Medieval)
Medium
cast and chiselled bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.2434
Measurements
7 5/8 x 8 3/4 x 3 13/16 in. (19.4 x 22.3 x 9.6 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (?) (Place of Origin)
  • south Italy (?) (Place of Origin)

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