Our catalogue > Betel-related Antiques

Betel (also known as paan or sirih) is the palm nut, lime powder & vine leaf quid that traditionally was chewed in South & Southeast Asia and was a social narcotic similar to alcohol or tobacco. The Dutch colonialists particularly also took up the habit. Elaborate boxes for storing betel and other associated paraphernalia were made. This page is reserved for such objects.

Each item is for sale.

Each piece has been sourced from within the UK, often from old, colonial-era collections.

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6730

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    Mindanao Brass Betel Box

    Mindanao, The Philippines
    circa 1900

    width: 15.3cm, height: 6.9cm, depth: 8.3cm, weight: 1,135g

    Provenance

    UK art market

    5891

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      Large, Silver-Inlaid Winged Brass Betel Box (Lutuan)

      Mindanao, Philippines
      late 19th-20th century

      length: 40.6cm, height: 17.1cm, depth: 13.2cm, weight: more than 5000g

      Provenance

      UK art market

      6528

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        Exceptional Dutch Colonial Tortoiseshell Betel Box with Fine Silver Mounts

        Dutch Colonial East Indies, probably Batavia (Indonesia today)
        18th century

        height: 8.1cm, length: 19cm, depth: 13.3cm

        Provenance

        UK art market

        6538

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          Dutch Colonial Ivory Box with Silver Mounts

          Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
          18th century

          length: 13.9cm, depth: 6.9cm, height: 4.3cm

          Provenance

          UK art market

          6578

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            Dutch Colonial Silver Betel Box & Key

            Dutch East Indies, probably Batavia
            18th century

            width: 14.7cm, depth: 9.9cm, height: 6cm, weight: 586g

            Provenance

            UK art market

            6372

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              Early Thai Bronze Taza or Betel Tray

              Tenasserim region, Thailand/Burma
              circa 14th-15th century

              diameter: 17cm, height: 9.8cm, weight: 380g

              Provenance

              private collection, London. Collected in Burma, in Tenasserim in 1933, by Maurice Collis (1889-1973). Collins entered the Indian Civil Service in 1911 & was posted to Burma in 1912. His postings included Sagaing & Arakan. He served as a district magistrate in Rangoon (1929-1930) and thereafter as Excise Commissioner. He returned to England in 1934 and wrote many books including on Burma.

              6374

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                Two Early Thai Bronze Betel Cups

                Tenasserim region, Thailand/Burma
                circa 14th-15th century

                height: 9cm and 4.6cm, combined weight: 349g

                Provenance

                private collection, London. Collected in Burma, in Tenasserim in 1933, by Maurice Collis (1889-1973). Collins entered the Indian Civil Service in 1911 & was posted to Burma in 1912. His postings included Sagaing & Arakan. He served as a district magistrate in Rangoon (1929-1930) and thereafter as Excise Commissioner. He returned to England in 1934 and wrote many books including on Burma.

                6105

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                  Chased & Gilded Mughal Pandan Tray inset with Turquoise-Coloured Cabochon Stones

                  Northern India
                  circa 1750

                  length (including handles): 35.4cm, width: 22cm, height: 6cm, weight: 726g

                  Provenance

                  UK art market

                  2703

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                    Shan Burmese Lacquered Betel Box

                    Shan States, Eastern Burma
                    circa 1880

                    height: 17.3cm, diameter: 19.2cm

                    Provenance

                    UK art market

                    3948

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                      Burmese Lacquered Betel Box

                      Burma
                      circa late 19th century

                      height: 21.5cm, diameter: 23cm

                      Provenance

                      UK art market

                      5962

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                        Rare Dayak Brass Hornbill Bird-Shaped Betel Box with Inlaid Eyes

                        Dayak People, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
                        19th century

                        Reserved

                        Provenance

                        formerly in the collection of Henry Brownrigg, author of 'Betel Cutters. from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection' (Thames & Hudson, 1992).

                        6127

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                          Large, Cambodian Silver Hen-Shaped Betel Lime Box

                          Cambodia
                          circa 1920

                          length: 19.5cm, height: 20cm, weight: 611g

                          Provenance

                          UK art market

                          4347

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                            Large Silver-Inlaid Brass Betel Box (Lutuan)

                            Islamic Mindanao, Philippines
                            early 20th century

                            height: 18.3cm, length: 34cm, width: 15cm

                            Provenance

                            UK art market

                            5588

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                              Indian Brass Lime Box for Betel

                              India
                              19th century

                              length: 8.5cm, width: 4.5c,. height: 4.3cm, weight: 177g

                              Provenance

                              UK art market

                              2699

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                                Burmese Gilded Shwezawa-work Lacquered Betel Box (Kun-it)

                                Burma (Myanmar), probably Pagan (Bagan)
                                circa 1960s

                                height: 22.4cm, diameter: 23cm

                                Provenance

                                private collection, UK

                                6022

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                                  Lombok Carved Horn Parrot Hilt

                                  Lombok, Eastern Indonesia
                                  19th century

                                  height: 16.3cm, weight: 222g

                                  Provenance

                                  private collection, England.

                                  5563

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                                    Burmese Pierced & Chased Silver Betel Box & Stand

                                    Burma
                                    circa 1870

                                    height: 24.5cm, diameter: 24.5cm, weight: 884g

                                    Provenance

                                    UK art market

                                    5885

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                                      Two Timorese Beaded Lime Containers

                                      Atoni or Dawan people of West Timor, Indonesia
                                      early 20th century

                                      lengths (without tassels): 10.5cm

                                      Provenance

                                      formerly in the collection of Henry Brownrigg, author of a book on the betel cutters in the Samuel Eilenberg Collection

                                      5889

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                                        Karo Batak Etched Bamboo Lime Container (Tagan)

                                        Karo Batak People, North Sumatra, Indonesia
                                        circa 1900

                                        height: 20.5cm, diameter: 7.6cm

                                        Provenance

                                        formerly in the collection of Henry Browrigg, author of a book on the betel cutters in the Samuel Eilenberg Collection

                                        4823

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                                          Fine, West Java Woven Betel Container

                                          Singaparna region, West Java, Indonesia
                                          late 19th century-early 20th century

                                          height: 13.5cm, diameter: 12cm

                                          Provenance

                                          private collection, UK.

                                          5533

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                                            Dutch Colonial Silver Betel Box

                                            Dutch East Indies, probably Batavia
                                            18th century

                                            length: 17.7cm, height: 7.1cm, depth: 12.3cm, weight: 975g

                                            Provenance

                                            UK art market

                                            4052

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                                              Unusually Large, Silver Filigree Betel Box

                                              Dutch East Indies, or possibly India
                                              circa 1700

                                              length: 22.3cm, width: 16cm, height: 10cm, weight: 1,675g

                                              Provenance

                                              Private London collection (estate)

                                              3791

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                                                Dutch Colonial Betel Box of Amboyna Wood & Pierced Silver Mounts

                                                Batavia, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
                                                18th century

                                                height: 9cm, length: 19.5cm, depth: 13.5cm

                                                Provenance

                                                private collection, UK.

                                                3381

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                                                  Sri Lankan Silver Betel Lime Box (Killotaya)

                                                  Sri Lanka
                                                  18th-19th century

                                                  height: 6.6cm, weight: 77g

                                                  Provenance

                                                  French art market

                                                  226

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                                                    Four Jamnagar ‘Gulab’ Betel Cutters Made in India for the Indonesian Market

                                                    Jamnagar, India, but collected in Java, Indonesia.
                                                    19th-20th century

                                                    length: each is approximately 15 cm

                                                    Provenance

                                                    private collection, London; acquired in the 1980s in Indonesia.

                                                    3229

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                                                      Colonial Batavian Silver & Gilt Betel Box Set

                                                      Batavia, Dutch East Indies
                                                      early 19th century

                                                      length of box: 21.3cm, depth: 13.6cm, height: 7cm, combined weight: 1,159g

                                                      Provenance

                                                      UK art market

                                                      641

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                                                        Engraved Silver Betel & Lime Boxes

                                                        Sumatra, Indonesia
                                                        19th century

                                                        length: 6.7cm, chain length: 21.5cm, total weight: 128g

                                                        640

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                                                          Engraved Silver Betel & Lime Boxes

                                                          Sumatra, Indonesia
                                                          19th century

                                                          length: 6.5cm, total weight: 117g

                                                          Provenance

                                                          private collection, London.

                                                          639

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                                                            Engraved Silver Betel Box

                                                            Sumatra, Indonesia
                                                            19th century

                                                            length: 8cm, combined weight: 148g

                                                            Provenance

                                                            private collection, London

                                                            1010

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                                                              Sri Lankan Tortoiseshell Betel Box with Engraved, Parcel-gilt Silver Mounts

                                                              Sri Lanka
                                                              late 18th century

                                                              length: 16cm, width: 12cm, height: 5.2cm, weight: 305g

                                                              Provenance

                                                              UK art market

                                                              1715

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                                                                Exceptionally Fine Indian Deccan Parcel-Gilt Silver Filigree Pandan

                                                                Deccan, India
                                                                18th century

                                                                height: 5cm, length: 9.6cm, weight: 77g

                                                                Provenance

                                                                UK art market

                                                                1716

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                                                                  Dutch Colonial Amboyna Wood & Red Lacquer Betel Box with Silver Mounts

                                                                  Batavia, Dutch East Indies
                                                                  late 17th-early 18th century

                                                                  height: 8.8cm, length: 20cm, depth: 14.5cm, weight: 794g

                                                                  Provenance

                                                                  collection of Paul Walter; Spink, London

                                                                  2110

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                                                                    Mughal Inscribed Cast Brass Spittoon (Cuspidor)

                                                                    North India or the Deccan
                                                                    17th century

                                                                    height: 10.4cm, diameter: 11.7cm, weight: 449g

                                                                    Provenance

                                                                    UK art market

                                                                    2245

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                                                                      Bugis Gold & Silver Betel Box

                                                                      Bugis People, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
                                                                      19th century

                                                                      length: 25.5cm, width: 11.1cm, height: 9.5cm, weight: 724g

                                                                      Provenance

                                                                      private collection, UK.

                                                                      2106

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                                                                        Indonesian Engraved Silver Betel/Tobacco Box with Engraved Gold Plaque

                                                                        Sumatra, Indonesia
                                                                        18th-19th century

                                                                        length: 10.4cm, width: 4.8cm, height: 4.1cm, weight: 147g

                                                                        Provenance

                                                                        private collection

                                                                        2708

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                                                                          Large Indonesian Cast Brass Lime Container

                                                                          Toba Batak People, North Sumatra, Indonesia
                                                                          circa 1900

                                                                          diameter of sphere: 11.2cm

                                                                          Provenance

                                                                          UK art market

                                                                          3083

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                                                                            Four-Piece Gilded Lacquer Processional Betel Holders

                                                                            Burma
                                                                            circa 1900

                                                                            heights: 18cm-37cm

                                                                            Provenance

                                                                            UK art market; almost certainly this set has been in the UK since colonial times.

                                                                            3535

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                                                                              Mindanao Philippines Silver-Inlaid Brass Betel Box

                                                                              Mindanao, Philippines
                                                                              19th-20th century

                                                                              length: 25cm, height: 13.3cm, depth: 12.6cm

                                                                              Provenance

                                                                              UK art market

                                                                              2998

                                                                              Enquiry about object: 2998

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                                                                                Mindanao Silver-Inlaid Brass Betel Box (Lutuan)

                                                                                Islamic Mindanao, Philippines
                                                                                early 20th century

                                                                                length: 20.7cm, height: 10.8cm, depth: 9.6cm, weight: 2,873g

                                                                                Provenance

                                                                                UK art market