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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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

                                                                  Enquiry about object: 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