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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8530

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    Unusual Colonial Parcel-Gilt Silver Filigree Box

    India or the Dutch East Indies
    circa 1720

    width: 10.7cm, depth: 10.3cm, height: 5.8cm, weight: 372g

    Provenance

    UK art market

    7161

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      Pair of Indian Betel Boxes (Pandans) Shaped as Queen Victoria & Prince Albert

      India, probably Calcutta
      circa 1840

      length: approximately 10cm, width: approximately 8cm, depth: 8.2cm, combined weight: 843g

      Provenance

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

      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

          7099

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            Enamelled Silver Pandan

            North India
            circa 1900

            height: 5.3cm, diameter: 6.3cm, weight: 147g

            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, either Malay, Sumatra or Batavia (Indonesia today)
                18th century

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

                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

                  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.

                    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.

                              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

                                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