Brass spittoons of this form usually are catalogued as being Indian but this example is in fact Malay, from the state of Kelantan on the Malay Peninsula’s East Coast. Spittoons were used chiefly in conjunction with the chewing of betel nut which had to be spat out once it was chewed.
It is cast in brass as a single piece. It sits on a flared, ring foot, has a flattened globular body and a wide-rimmed mouth. Its most striking feature is the lotus petal-like gadrooning on the body and rim, giving it a pleasing sculptural and decorative quality. It also has a fine patina and obvious age.
It is in fine condition being without dents or repairs. The walls are thickly cast and the piece is heavy-in-the-hand.
A spittoon of almost identical form in the National Museum of Singapore collection is illustrated in Singh (1985, p. 18).
Singh, B., Malay Brassware, National Museum of Singapore, 1985.