An aquamanile (pl. aquamanilia), from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus), is an animal- or human-shaped vessel for pouring water used in hand washing, an essential component of religious and secular rituals in medieval society. The hundreds of surviving examples attest to their popularity during the Middle Ages.

Source:Medieval Aquamanilia | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art