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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



UK art market

This box, of yellow brass, is chased all over with a beautiful scrolling water plant motif. It has a tightly fitting, non-hinged lid.

Boxes such as this example are based on 18th century Dutch tobacco boxes of similar though smaller form. (Indonesia was formerly a Dutch colony). Such boxes were used to hold either betel or tobacco.

The example here is in fine condition and has a superb patina.

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