a medieval minute: what is this?

Aquamanile from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, circa 1400.

Aquamanile from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, circa 1400.

This is a medieval aquamanile or jug containing water for hand washing.

To learn more about aquamaniles:
http://www.fetteredcockpewters.com/aquamanile/aquamaniles.htm

Note the aquamanile on the right.

Note the aquamanile on the right.

Hand washing was an important part of table manners in medieval society. People washed before a meal and sometimes between courses. The common image of medieval nobles and knights gnawing on bones and then throwing them to the dogs would not have happened in polite society.

For a great discussion of hand washing and a recipe for a scented, herb-infused, hand-washing water:
http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/08.5histrecept.htm

Health professionals today still recommend hand washing.
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53865#.V3RvBJMrKAw

Please consider nominating my medieval novel, The Viscountess and the Templars on Kindle Scout.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/IOMBJIB4T9BO

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About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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