Inventory no.: 1954

Silver Batavia Betel Boxes


Two Silver Boxes with Hinged Lids

Dutch Colonial, probably Batavia

late 18th century

length: 5.7cm, height: 3.5cm, width: 4.1cm, weight: 108g (for both)

This fine pair of solid silver boxes with hinged lids would have been intended to hold components of the betel quid. Their shape, with crenulated corners, is typical of such silver boxes from eighteenth century Dutch colonial Batavia.

The slightly domed lids of each are repoussed and chased with a pair of storks amid foliage, and a pair of deer beneath a tree. The motifs face the backs of the boxes so that the decoration will be upright to the view of others as one opens each box to take out the contents.

Both boxes have smoothed contours from years of handling and a well-developed patina.


Voskuil-Groenewegen, S.M. et al, Zilver uit de tijd van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, Waanders Uitgevers, 1998.


UK art market

Inventory no.: 1954