Sigismond Bardac, Paris, before 1913, as French, fourteenth century; (Arnold Seligmann), 1913(?)-1916; purchased 22 April 1916 by Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, as French, twelfth century; inheritance from the Estate of Peter A. B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, after purchase by funds of the Estate, 1942.
- Exhibition of Arts of the Middle Ages, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1940, 80, no. 283, as French or Mosan, twelfth century.
- Artful Deception: The Craft of the Forger, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1987-1988, no cat.
- Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanila of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, New York, 2006, no. 3, repro.
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. 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.
 Report 17 March 1987, in NGA conservation laboratory files.
- Leman, Henri. Collection Sigismond Bardac. Faiences italiennes du XV siècle, objets de haute curiosité, Moyen Age et Renaissance. Paris, 1913: no. 33.
- Falke, Otto von, and Erich Meyer. Bronzegeräte des Mittelalters I. Romanische Leuchter und Gefässe; Giessgefässe der Gotik. Berlin, 1935: 62, 110, no. 374, repro. 352 (reprint, Berlin, 1983: 62, 154, fig. 352).
- Inventory of the Objects d'Art at Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, The Estate of the Late P.A.B. Widener. Philadelphia, 1935: 31.
- Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 9, as French 12th Century.
- Seymour, Charles. Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1949: 11, 171, note 2, repro. 28, 30.
- Christensen, Erwin O. Objects of Medieval Art from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1952: 20-22, 30.
- Mende, Ursula. Die Türzieher des Mittelalters. Berlin, 1981: 55, fig. 362.
- Distelberger, Rudolf, Alison Luchs, Philippe Verdier, and Timonthy H. Wilson. Western Decorative Arts, Part I: Medieval, Renaissance, and Historicizing Styles including Metalwork, Enamels, and Ceramics. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1993: 25-28, color repro. 26.