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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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

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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

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Provenance

UK art market

3948

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Burmese Lacquered Betel Box

Burma
circa late 19th century

height: 21.5cm, diameter: 23cm

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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

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Provenance

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

6150

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Chased, Inscribed & Dated Silver Betel Tray, Captured at the Siege of Lucknow

Lucknow, India
late 18th century with a later inscribed date of 1858

length: 28.6cm, width: 21.4cm, height: 5.5cm, weight: 540g

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Provenance

taken at the siege of Lucknow; Major General Donald Macintyre VC

6127

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Large, Cambodian Silver Hen-Shaped Betel Lime Box

Cambodia
circa 1920

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

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Provenance

UK art market

4347

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Unusually Large Silver-Inlaid Brass Betel Box (Lutuan)

Islamic Mindanao, Philippines
early 20th century

height: 18.3cm, length: 34cm, width: 15cm

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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

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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

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Provenance

private collection, UK

6022

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Lombok Carved Horn Parrot Hilt

Lombok, Eastern Indonesia
19th century

height: 16.3cm, weight: 222g

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Provenance

private collection, London; acquired in the 1980s in Indonesia.

314

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Engraved Malay Brass Betel or Tobacco Box

Malay Peninsular
19th century or earlier

length: 16.4 cm; width: 8.7 cm; height: 6.6 cm

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Provenance

UK art market

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

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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

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640

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Engraved Silver Betel & Lime Boxes

Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

length: 6.5cm, total weight: 117g

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Provenance

private collection, London.

639

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Engraved Silver Betel Box

Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

length: 8cm, combined weight: 148g

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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

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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

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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

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Provenance

collection of Paul Walter; Spink, London

2109

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Malay Cast Brass Spittoon (Ketur)

Kelantan, Malaysia
19th century

height: 9.4cm, diameter: 14.5cm, weight: 894g

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Provenance

private collection, UK.

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

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Provenance

UK art market

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
early 20th century

length: 68cm

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Provenance

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

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

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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

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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

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Provenance

UK art market

2825

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Dutch Colonial Betel Box of Ebony with Silver Mounts

Sri Lanka or Batavia, Dutch East Indies
18th century

length: 21cm, depth: 15cm, height: 7.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3083

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Four-Piece Gilded Lacquer Processional Betel Holders

Burma
circa 1900

heights: 18cm-37cm

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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

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Provenance

UK art market

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

Available - Find out more

Provenance

UK art market