Enquiry about object: 6127

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Large, Cambodian Silver Hen-Shaped Betel Lime Box

circa 1920

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

Available - Enquire


UK art market

This fine, unusual and unusually large example of a Cambodian lime box is made of chased silver and is in the form of a hen. It is realistically rendered and has good weight-in-the-hand for its size. It is chased and engraved all over with feathers. It has an expressive face, a prominent tail and neck wattle and cock’s comb.

The lid fits tightly over the base.

Lime is an essential part of the betel or areca nut quid, a mild social narcotic, and in Cambodia, elaborate silver boxes were made to hold lime powder for this purpose.

The example here is in excellent condition. It has obvious age and a good patina.


Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.

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