National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion North French or Mosan 13th Century
North French 13th Century (artist)
Mosan 13th Century (artist)
Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion, c. 1200
bronze with traces of gilding
overall: 13.8 x 17.5 x 7 cm (5 7/16 x 6 7/8 x 2 3/4 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.281
Not on View
From the Tour: Medieval Metalwork and Enamels
Object 4 of 8

Conservation Notes

A hinged lid atop the lion's head opens to allow filling with water, which would have been poured out at the mouth.

The object, of a dark brown bronze alloy, is generally in good condition. The gilding is worn, especially on smooth surfaces such as the haunches. It adheres best in grooved, patterned areas. There is a dent in the left hind haunch.

X-ray fluorescence analysis of the surface indicates that the alloy is approximately 95 percent copper, 2 percent tin, and 1 percent lead, with traces of silver, iron, and antimony.[1] This alloy is consistent with medieval production. The presence of mercury in a gilded area indicates the use of fire-gilding. The gray repair on the left hind haunch appears to be a lead-tin solder.


[1] Report 17 March 1987, in NGA conservation laboratory files.

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Artist Information (Mosan 13th Century)
Artist Information (North French 13th Century)
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Exhibition History
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