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Aquamanile (Handwasher) in the Form of a Cheetah
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Aquamanile (Handwasher) 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.
  • 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.
  • The Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World . J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. 2019.
Provenance Purchased by Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York; purchased by Walters Art Museum, May 27 1958.
Credit Museum purchase, 1958

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11th-13th century (Medieval)
Accession Number
H: 7 5/8 x W: 8 3/4 x D: 3 13/16 in. (19.4 x 22.3 x 9.6 cm)
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
  • Italy (Place of Origin)

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