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Pair of Inscribed Mughal Silver Rosewater Sprinklers

Northern India
early 19th century

height: 30cm, combined weight: 815g



UK art market

This fine pair of silver rosewater sprinklers have bold, flattened, flower-form bodies; flared feet engraved with acanthus leaf motifs; long, thin necks which begin with an acanthus leaf border and then barley-twist stems; and wide, pierced nozzles engraved with flower patterns against a ring-mat background.

The shoulder of each sprinkler is finely engraved with three lines of devanagari script which translates as personal names, probably the names of past owners.

Surviving examples of matched pairs of Indian sprinklers are relatively rare; usually the two become separated.

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. Their quality is very fine. They have a wonderful age-related patina, and sit solidly without rocking.

The pair are eighteenth century in style but probably were made in the early nineteenth century.


Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.

Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.

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