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Cast Bronze Mughal Rose Water Sprinkler

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Central Asian: Metalwork: Pre 1920: item # 1139874

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Cast Bronze Mughal Rose Water Sprinkler
This cast bronze gulabpash ( or rose water sprinkler) has exhaustive embossing in raised and punched poppy design.[160A, 147B] Gulabpash vessels were used in the Indian, Mughal and Persian Courts to sprinkle rose water upon arriving guests. This explains the extreme waisted-neck form which may be traced back to silver bottles of the Sasanians.[161 ref] The patina varies from glossy brown on the raised poppy motif to dull black from the inlaid black composition ground. Similar black composition inlay is found on the specialized Indian metalwork known as bidri ware. However, in bidri ware the relief is made of other metals: copper, brass and silver and the black composition ground emphasizes the bright colored designs.[160C] We estimate our antique gulabpash to be 19th Century Mughal based on its profusion of ornamentation. The vessel body alone was cast in 6 pieces and the cover was probably cast in 3 pieces. This sprinkler and cap are covered with poppy on stem relief broken by fillet bands with herring bone patterns. Each flower petal (6) is incised with hammer and punch work as are the fillets with herring bone patterns. We estimate there are 800-1000 flowers with 5-6 times as many punch marks, certainly a quintessence of hand work. This antique demonstrates Indian craftsmanship in metalwork and the visual aesthetic of decorative art that Mughal rulers introduced into India. The gulabpash is in very good to excellent condition. There is a small amount of copper oxidation observable where the body connects to the neck at the waist under the neck flange and a small dent on the body which is difficult to see because of the dark patina. It has a bell metal ring when struck. More information and references on our website. Size: ~ 12 3/4" H x 6 1/4"; Weight: ~ 2 1/4 pounds

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