A RARE PAIR OF LARGE INDIAN SILVER FILIGREE ROSEWATER SPRINKLERS
Early 18th century, probably India, Karimnagar, apparently unmarked
Each solid silver covered with filigree, on spreading foot, above which a bulbous body and knobbed stem tapering to the top.
H. 31.6 and 31.7 cm
Weight: 392 and 438 grams
Because these bottles had to contain a liquid, the silver filigree was attached as an outside decoration to a silver bottle. Rosewater sprinkling originally was an Iranian custom observed during the festival of Ab Pasthan to invoke the memory of rainfall that put an end to famine. As the tradition of rosewater sprinkling spread to India and further to South East Asia and was adopted by the Portuguese, Dutch and English, it became more generalized.
It was used to sprinkle the wedding couple, the deceased and generally to welcome guests. Today it is not unusual to be sprinkled over the hands when leaving a restaurant, from the Arab world to South East Asia. The form of rosewater sprinklers is essentially the same from the Middle East to South East Asia; only the material and decoration may vary.