Lions, Dragons, & other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages Vessels for Church and Table Peter Barnet, Pete Dandridge

Publication date:
31 Jul 2006
Yale University Press
256 pages: 305 x 235mm
30 b-w 100 colour
Sales territories:


This fascinating book explores the history, techniques, and cultural significance of medieval aquamanilia, cast metal objects used to pour water for hand washing in religious and secular contexts. Usually created in appealing animal or human forms, aquamanilia feature two openings, one for filling and the other for pouring. They represent the first emergence of hollow-cast vessels in Western Europe and a significant development in the history of technology. The book presents and catalogues the entire aquamanilia collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time, as well as selected examples from other collections and other related medieval objects.

Peter Barnet is Michel David-Weill curator in charge, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pete Dandridge is a conservator in the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Nothing is not thought-provoking in the way that scholarship should be. . . . Lions, Dragons and Other Beasts is an exceptionally well researched publication, which will be an invaluable reference to conservators, curators, and art historians studying medieval aquamanilia, metalworking, or bronze production."—Stephanie Seavers, Speculum--A Journal of Medieval Studies