This very elegant and tall rosewater sprinkler is composed almost entirely of fine, brass filigree, with possible remnants of gilding.
It has an oval, pierced foot; a flattened, pear-shaped body; an elongated, tapering neck; and a flower-like finial through which the scented water was emitted. The finial is composed of three tiers of filigree ‘petals’ over a row of fruits – perhaps pomegranates.
The sprinkler also has a delightful filigree acanthus-leaf fringe over its shoulder.
The central tear-shaped cartouche on each side of the body comprises filigree arrayed as a floral-like trellis. Elsewhere, the filigree comprises a series of concentric circles in fine, tight curls, within scrolling arabesques.
Related silver filigree sprinklers are in the collection of the Hermitage, St Petersburg. These date to between 1714 and 1750 and once belonged to Catherine the Great. They were considered part of her ‘Indian’ toilet set.
The sprinkler has obvious age. It was acquired in the UK and most probably has been in the UK since colonial times.
Jordan, A. et al, The Heritage of Rauluchantim, Museu de Sao Roque, 1996.
Piotrovsky, M. et al, Silver: Wonders from the East – Filigree of the Tsars, Lund Humphries/Hermitage Amsterdam, 2006.
Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.
Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.