This tall, heavy rosewater sprinkler of solid silver is one of the finest examples of Indian rosewater sprinklers we have seen. The Mughal-inspired chasing work all over it is immaculate, varied and pristine.
The foot is large, domed and finely chased with multiple-layer acanthus leaf scrollwork. The foot leads to the body via a collar decorated with a gadroon twist. The body is of flattened, spherical form. It is decorated with sixteen raised, gadrooned panels, each beautifully chased with floral patterns but with each of the sixteen being unique. The details are superb. One panel even has a tiny bunch of berries incorporated into the floral scrolls towards the base and only noticeable by the most observant.
The shoulder of the body is decorated with a wide border of pendant acanthus leaves. The stem begins with a raised collar chased deeply with flowers. It continues with more acanthus leaves and then a floral twist which works its way to the large, flower-form tip which is domed and perforated with tiny holes to emit the rosewater.
The chasing work on the sprinkler has some similarity to that on a large silver wash basin attributed to early 19th century Delhi and illustrated in Terlinden (1987, p. 123).
This is an exceptional, museum-quality rosewater sprinkler, in exceptional condition. It is also unusually large. We are not aware of another quite like it.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.