This elegantly-proportioned silver rosewater sprinkler most probably was made in Guangdong (Canton) or Hong Kong for the Islamic export market. Chinese-made rosewater sprinklers were used in India and among Muslims in Southeast Asia particularly. This example stands on a splayed foot that is finely chased with chrysanthemum blooms and foliage. After a rounded collar chased with floral motifs comes the spherical base which is beautifully chased with four stylised cloud panels in-filled with the flowers of the four seasons against a ring-mat ground. Repeated stylised plum blossom work separates the panels. The shoulder is unadorned. The neck has a floral collar followed by a border of finely chased acanthus leaves. It rises to the elegant sprinkler head shaped as an open flower and pieced with small holes through which the rosewater sprinkles.
The sprinkler is of solid silver but has no maker’s marks.
Forbes, H.A.C. et al, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, Museum of the American China Trade, 1975.
Kernan, J.D., The Chait Collection of Chinese Export Silver, Ralph M. Chait Galleries, 1985.
Marlowe, A.J., Chinese Export Silver, John Sparks, 1990.
Chan, DPL, Chinese Export Silver: The Chan Collection, published in conjunction with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2005.