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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Medieval Bronze Aquamanile of a Male Bust

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LOT 0414

Estimate
GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,680 - 16,360
USD ($) 12,670 - 17,740

Current bid: £8,000 (+bp*)
(15 Bids, Reserve met)

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(15 Bids, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £8,000

MEDIEVAL BRONZE AQUAMANILE OF A MALE BUST
NORTHERN GERMANY, SAXONY, EARLY 13TH CENTURY A.D.
7 1/8 in. (1.27 kg, 18 cm).

Hollow-formed vessel formed as a male bust; discoid body with chamfered shoulder bearing bands of running zigzag detailing and three splayed feet; the head with low-relief hair and rim of bosses with linear spirals, gracile facial features with lentoid eyes and slender nose, small pouting mouth; short spout to the forehead, filler-hole to top of the head with hinged cover; handle to the rear formed as a reptile with head and forepaws placed on the hair below the hinge and joining the base above one of the feet. [No Reserve]

PROVENANCE:
Acquired on the UK art market in 2001.
with Christie's, London, 6 December 2017.
Private collection, Suffolk.

Accompanied by copies of a previous illustrated cataloguing document with references.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.12038-212152.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Falke, O. and Meyer, E., Romanische Leuchter und Gefässe, Giessgefässe der Gotik, Berlin, 1935, reprint, 1983, figs.313 and 314; Barnet, P. and Dandridge, P., Lions, Dragons and other Beasts, Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, New York, 2006, no.7; Brandt, M. ed., Bild & Bestie, Regensburg, 2008, nos.4, 27 and 29.

FOOTNOTES:
Aquamaniles in the form of a bust are a rarity compared to the quantity of zoomorphic forms known from the Middle Ages. The present piece was formed by lost-wax casting method, and is a very early example of such process for a vessel. Metallurgical analysis has shown that the piece is consistent with the suggested date.

CONDITION