Wikimedia Commons lists a few bottles named "Sprinkler" (Islamic, 17th–18th century). What was the use of this kind of bottle? By searching on Google for "sprinkler bottle" I got some similar looking bottles, some of them made of metal, named "rose water sprinkler"

Wikipedia: "Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests." - Youtube How to use a Rose Water Sprinkler

Who used such sprinklers, what for, and since when?


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    They were bottles used to sprinkle scented water or other liquids. The design of the bottle varied over time and in different places. What more do you want to know that isn't to be found by reviewing a few sites found by a simple Google search? – sempaiscuba Oct 14 '17 at 16:53
  • @sempaiscuba - Details like: was it designed for body spray or for an entire room, what's the utility of having such a long neck, when it was used for the first time, in which part of the world they were used, the user sprayed themselves or sprayed only other persons with it? Did it use usual perfumes or perfumed water? Did it have any advantages over other types of perfume bottles? And mainly I wanted to make sure that it was used for (sprinkling) perfumes. – Fructibus Oct 14 '17 at 20:36

This answer may be a little superficial, but I'm not quite how much detail you are asking for here.

"Sprinklers" were just bottles, usually with long-narrow necks, which we believe to have been used to sprinkle scented water, perfumes or or other liquids. Depending on the burial conditions, it is sometimes - but by no means always - possible to carry out residue analysis to determine what they originally contained.

By analogy with the later attested use of similar vessels, they were probably used to sprinkle their contents over a relatively large area.

The design of the bottle varied considerably over time and in different places. We have found examples over a geographic range stretching from the UK to India.

Bottles with long, narrow necks that are often called "sprinkler bottles" have been around since the Roman period. Their use can certainly be attested from the 13th century. This page from Behind the Scenes at the Getty includes an example of a late 14th / early 15th century sprinkler flask from Byzantium which:

"would once have been used to sprinkle myrrh and holy water."

A nice example of a 13th century Islamic sprinkler bottle was discovered a few years ago during the archaeological excavations ahead of the construction of the Leadenhall building in London. I'm not sure if any residue analysis has been carried out on this example, but according to the article, it would have:

"contained perfume or rose-water"

and can be seen in this National Geographic article.

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According to this art gallery,

"Rosewater sprinklers, gulabpash, originated in Persia but became popular in India and were especially used as a part of the courtly ritual. This finely executed rosewater sprinkler was made in Karimnagar during the 18th century."

So your 18th century timetable is right, as is your claim of Islamic origins. They became more popular in India, where they were used for weddings, than in Iran, their original home.

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