- An aquamanile is a vessel for pouring water used in the ritual of washing hands in both religious and secular contexts — by priests before Mass (Christian) and in private households before meals. In form, these ewers are often zoomorphic, and may portray either real or imagined creatures, typically significant in religious iconography. The height of production and use of aquamanilia spans from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries.
Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.