Rare Solid Copper Water Sprinkler Overlaid with Silver
Tanjore, South India
height: 30.6cm, weight: 1.033kg
This very elegant water sprinkler is cast in solid copper and overlaid with engraved silver. At more than a kilogram in weight, it is surprisingly heavy in the hand. The neck and body are overlaid with silver in various scrolling leaf forms. The base is beautifully decorated with alternating copper and silver petals to represent a lotus bloom.
The head comprises a solid silver sheet repoussed in the form of a sunflower and perforated to emit the perfumed water.
This blending of copper or brass with silver is known as Tanjore work. Typically Tanjore work can be seen on waster vases (
lotas). This is the first example we have seen of a Tanjore work water sprinkler.
Zebrowski (1997, pp. 208-211) shows several Tanjore work
lotas, ascribed to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The work on these is similar to the work on this sprinkler.
Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.
Inventory no.: 791