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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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, 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

                  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