2859

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Indian Kutch Chased Mughal-Inspired Silver Rosewater Sprinkler

Kutch, India
circa 1850

height: 25.5cm, weight: 294g

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Provenance

UK art market

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.

References

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

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