May 21 2015

Aquamanile in the form of a griffin

Bastian Asmus
Aquamanile in the form of a griffin cast in the workshop of Ragna and Bastian Asmus in 2015 inspired by a 15th century Nuremberg aquamanile.

Aquamanile in the form of a griffin. The original is from a 15th century Nuremberg Rotschmied workshop. The pictured aquamanile was modelled by Ragna Asmus and cast by Bastian Asmus.

A griffin aquamanile made some 600 years later

I realise that I have been somewhat negligent over the past three to four months when it comes to writing. I was immersed in the most fascinating and satisfying work in the past four months, however and simply did not have time to write. Within the next few weeks I will post about the 12th to 15th century bronze and brass objects I was commissioned to reconstruct. Let us begin with my favorite piece today: The griffin aquamanile that is now housed in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

This bronze aquamanile in the form of a griffin was cast in early 2015 and can be viewed from 30 May 2015, the newly established European Hanseatic League Museum. The Griffin was modelled by Ragna Asmus after a griffin aquamanile that was made in Nurmeberg between 1425 and 1450. It is significantly younger than the lion aquamanile I have made two years previously. In the 15th century Nuremberg was a leading centre of the brass and brass-ware production and had surpassed the importance Dinant  held in the 12th and 13th centuries. From the 14th century the production of “Dinanderie” shifted from Dinant and the Meuse region to Nuremberg. After Dinant’s destruction in 1466 the metal trades in Nuremberg  became an even more important one than Dinant ever was . The numerous professions in  the Rotschmiedehandwerk  may be seen as an evidence of this upsurge in productivity.

This aquamanile was completely remodelled  in bee’s wax and cast in the lost wax process.

Aquamanile in the form of a griffin cast in the workshop of Ragna and Bastian Asmus in 2015 inspired by a 15th century Nuremberg aquamanile.

Aquamanile in the form of a griffin.

 

Literature


Mar 6 2014

Course on prehistoric bronze casting

Bastian Asmus

BIld eines frisch gegossenen Bronzebeils

This is a hands-on experiential archaeology course in one of the most important Celtic hill-top fortifications in central Europe: The Heuneburg in south western Germany. On April 26/27 we are holding an intensive course on the archaeometallurgy of bronze with loads of information to go alongside the practical experience of casting bronze the ancient way.

It has been my main objectives to foster the first hand experience of metallurgical processes alongside the scientific study of past archaeometallurgical activities. Together with the Heuneburg Open Air Museum we are now busy  developing the Heuneburg Academy, where hands-on experience is thought of as an equally important aspect of archaeometallurgy, as is for example scientific archaeology or archaeology. Only through an transdisciplinary approach will we able to better understand our forebears.

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