The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rose-Water Sprinkler
  • Rose-Water Sprinkler
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Spain, Catalonia, probably Barcelona (façon de Venise)
  • late 16th - early 17th century
  • Colourless glass with pale straw tinge and 'lattimo' glass canes; mould-formed, applied and tooled features; gilding.
  • Height: 15.7 cm
    Diameter: 10.4 cm
  • C537
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This characterful Spanish rose-water sprinkler was made in the late sixteenth -early seventeenth century. Rose-water sprinklers with bulbous bodies and vertical spouts are typically Spanish, and being closely associated with Catalan production and consumption, are known by the Catalan term 'almorratxa'. They are modelled on similar Arabic vessels, from which the term derives.
    'Almorratxas' were used for sprinkling rose water to sweeten the air in the domestic interior. As their decoration is often complex it has been suggested that they were used for special occasions or for display.
    Decorative components of this glass are inspired by features typical of Venetian glass-making ('façon de Venise'): 'lattimo' (white) glass canes arranged in a pattern of single lines ('vetro a fili'), here radiating from the base of the bowl, and gilded raspberry prunts. 'Almorratxas' were also made in Venice for the Spanish market. However, this example is typical of Spanish glass made in the Venetian style in the late sixteenth-early seventeenth century, with its straw tinge and canes which imitate 'vetro a fili' but stand out in relief from the vessel surface and terminate rather crudely under the foot.The tall, hollow pedestal foot of this glass is similarly constructed to those on some other Catalan glasses.