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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8949

Sumatran Large, Cast Brass Betel Pedestal Bowl (Tcharanos)

Minangkabau People, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

height: 23.1cm, width: 29.4cm, weight: 2,775g

Provenance

private collection, UK

7728

Thai Silver-Gilt Niello Betel Box

Thailand
early 19th century

height: 6.1cm, width: 15.2cm, depth: 8.6cm, weight: 317g

Provenance

private collection, London

9033

Indian Mughal Brass Pandan

Mughal, northern India
17th century

height: 7.8cm, width: 12.5cm, weight: 882g

Provenance

UK art market

8608

Dutch Colonial Ebony & Silver Betel Box

Batavia, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
first half of the 18th century

width: 14.8cm, height: 7cm, depth: 10.5cm, weight: 528g

Provenance

UK art market

5891

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

6730

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

Enamelled Silver Pandan

North India
circa 1900

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

Provenance

UK art market

6528

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

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

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

Large, Cambodian Silver Hen-Shaped Betel Lime Box

Cambodia
circa 1920

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

Provenance

UK art market

5885

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

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

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

3791

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

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.

641

Engraved Silver Betel & Lime Boxes

Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

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

640

Engraved Silver Betel & Lime Boxes

Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

length: 6.5cm, total weight: 117g

Provenance

private collection, London.

639

Engraved Silver Betel Box

Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

length: 8cm, combined weight: 148g

Provenance

private collection, London

1010

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

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

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

2182

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 .

3535

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

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