This whimsical pair of rosewater sprinklers are fashioned from solid silver and are shaped as herons. Each is naturalistically modelled, and stands with wings out-stretched. The bodies and wings are chased with feather motifs.
Each heron stands on a raised platform. Their bodies are the wells for the rosewater and in their beaks they each hold a ball which is pieced to emit the rosewater. Octagonally-shaped caps on the backs of each twist off to reveal a well through which the bodies are filled.
Such sprinklers were used in India at important ceremonies such as weddings. They were also used to scent rooms, and were offered to guests as they arrived at an important home so that they might freshen up after a journey.
Overall, this pair of sprinklers is highly decorative and sculptural. Both are in excellent condition. There are no maker’s or assay marks. They sit solidly without rocking.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.