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, 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.

                  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.

                                  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