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Malay Brass Rose Water Sprinkler
Northern Malaysia
18th century

height: 27 cm

This charming brass sprinkler, of elegant proportions, has a beautiful, soft patina commensurate with its age. The wide foot, body and nozzle are decorated
with concentric rings.

Executed in
tembaga kuning (yellow brass), sprinklers such as this were used in two important Malay ceremonies.

The first is the
cukur rambut ceremony which marks the Malay child's first hair cut. Sliced pandan leaves and flowers sprinkled with rose water (ayer mawa)
were given to guests at this ceremony. Rose water was believed to have purifying properties.

The second ceremony is the
berinai ceremony in which the Malay bride's hands and fingers are stained with henna the night before the bersanding
(sitting-in-state) component of the wedding celebrations. The bride's is sprinkled with rose water during the
berinai ceremony.

References: Singh, B., Malay Brassware, National Museum of Singapore, 1985, p. 3.

Inventory no.: 96 SOLD