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Near pair of Chinese blue and white rosewater sprinklers, Kangxi (1662-1722), with knops to the baluster necks, decorated to the bulbous bodies with four ogee-shaped panels containing lotus heads and scrolling foliage, the spreading foot rims and lower necks with lozenge pattern, the thin upper necks with delicate floral sprays below hatch-pattern bands to the rims
It is very likely that these sprinklers were export items for Islamic markets, where rosewater is traditionally used both in everyday life and to mark special religious ceremonies. Traditionally, the right hand is used to eat, and so sprinklers filled with scented water would be provided in order to wash the hands before and after eating. Sprinklers filled with cool, scented rosewater would also be provided to guests upon their arrival at a house in order to freshen up: the more lavish the sprinkler, which may be made out of copper, silver, gold or porcelain, the wealthier the household. The consequent association of these items with a warm welcome to the household means that pairs of rosewater sprinklers are a popular choice of wedding gift, and historically have also been given as ambassadorial gifts as symbols of goodwill and hospitality.