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Engraved Silver Betel/Tobacco Box with Engraved Gold Plaque
Sumatra, Indonesia
18th-19th century

length: length 10.4cm, width: 5cm, height: 4cm, weight: 140g

This fine, elegant silver box has a domed, hinged lid inset with a solid gold plaque engraved and punched with Islamic-inspired scrolling floral and vegetal
motifs.

The box itself has concave corners and is engraved on all sides and about the lid with the scrolling clove motif - a motif that is highly characteristic of Malay
silverwork.

Such boxes were used to hold shredded tobacco and sometimes betel nut.

The box is in excellent condition and has a fine, deep patina consistent with much use and age.

References:
Jasper, J.E. & Pirngadie,
De Inlandsche Kunstnijverheid in Nederlandsch Indie IV: de Goud en Zilversmeedkunst, 1930.

Provenance: private collection

Inventory no.: 2105

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Clove heads, photographed in Sri Lanka, 2011.
The engraving work on this box includes motifs based on cloves.