Michael Backman Ltd - Home  

Chased Mughal-Inspired Silver Rosewater Sprinkler
Kutch, India
circa 1850

height: 25.5cm, weight: 294g

This very pleasing and elegant rosewater sprinkler is far finer than the images suggest.  It stands on a domed, ring foot; has a flattened spherical body; a
baluster-form neck; and a domed flower-shaped head topped by a solid-cast spherical finial. The head, which is perforated to allow perfumed water to be
emitted, is embellished with the addition of three solid-cast and engraved flowers placed equidistant about the head, which is an unusual feature.

The body of the sprinkler is chased with eight oval cartouches filled with Mughal-inspired floral sprays. One cartouche also has a blank armorial plaque.

The neck is similarly decorated with scrolling floral and leaf patterns against a finely tooled background save for the addition of plain ribbon of silver that
spirals up the neck.

Overall, the work is to a very high standard.  See Dehejia (2008, p. 147) for a related example.

Rosewater was used in India as part of traditional wedding ceremonies. It was also offered to guests on arrival so that they might freshen themselves after a
journey. As Dehejia (2008) says, they were one of the few items that survived translation form the Indian courts to a European context, being admired for both
their form and function.

Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 2859 SOLD

Click here to see more colonial Indian silver.