Horse and Rider Aquamanile

Imitation of Gothic
19th–20th century
Artist Unidentified artist

Object Place: Europe, Germany


33.6 x 37.8 x 11.8 cm (13 1/4 x 14 7/8 x 4 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Latten (horse: 90.5% copper, 4.7% tin, 3% zinc, 1.8% lead; rider: 88.3% copper, 6.2% tin, 3.2% zinc, 2.3% lead)

Not On View


Contemporary Art, Europe



Horse and rider with wire reins, an opening for filling in the rider’s head, and a lion-headed spout on the breast of the horse. Hollow cast and minimally chased. The body of the horse is cast in one piece with thin plates soldered to close the bottom of each hoof and with the front and back left legs (of a different alloy) soldered on. As shown on the radiograph, the front leg is filled with metal around the join and threaded with a pin. The horse has well-developed hind quarters with a short tail, a planar head without a mane, prominent ears, almond-shaped eyes, and small indentations for nostrils and mouth. The small spout is cast separately and soldered on. Apart from the hands that are attached at the cuffs, the rider is cast in one piece and soldered to the horse. Leaning forward with bent knees, he wears pointed shoes, a long tight tunic with flared sleeves, a band around the neck, and shallow folds distributed randomly across the abdomen, under the arms, and over the legs. His clenched hands are pierced with holes to hold the wire reins emanating from holes on either side of the horse’s mouth. His head - marked by large almond-shaped eyes, pointed head - marked by large almond-shaped eyes, pointed nose, and straight mouth - has a curious double band of curls cut above his prominent ears.


1928, art market, Germany [see note 1]. Wolfgang Krueger, Berlin [see note 2]; by 1938, sold by Krueger to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Garbáty, Schloss Alt-Döbern, Niederlausitz (Germany), New York, and East Norwalk, CT; 1969, gift of Mrs. Garbáty to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 23, 1969)

[1] See Otto von Falke, "Reiter-Aquamanilien. I," Pantheon 1 (1928): 252, ill. no. 10, p. 250. [2] Whether Krueger was the dealer who owned the object in 1928 is not certain; Garbáty attested that he acquired it from Krueger, who said that it came from the collection of a south German family. It was in the Garbáty collection by May, 1938, when Georg Swarzenski wrote to them about it. Garbáty emigrated from Berlin to New York between 1938 and 1939, bringing much of his art collection with him.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Eugene L. Garbáty