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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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

    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.

                                                  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

                                                                    from the collection of (the late) Sandy Morton, London.

                                                                    2182

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                                                                      Sepik Lime Container in the form of a Rooster on a Crocodile

                                                                      Iatmul People, Middle Sepik River Region, Papua New Guinea
                                                                      first half of the 20th century

                                                                      length: 68cm

                                                                      Provenance

                                                                      Francis de Sales McHugh Collection, and thence by descent, collected by de Sales McHugh in the first half of the 20th century .

                                                                      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

                                                                        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