An aquamanile is a vessel from which water is poured. In the ninth century, these elaborately worked jugs appear in church records. They were used to pour water over the hands of the priest to be caught in a basin below [i.e. at the Lavabo at Mass]. Most were of a heavy cast construction and were designed to stay in place while a spigot or tap was used to pour. They grew in popularity and the designs became more and more elegant, and often delightfully fanciful.