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Chased Silver Pumpkin-Shaped Betel Box
early 20th century
length: 10.5cm, width: 7.8cm, height: 6.5cm, weight: 110g
This fine, well-modelled silver betel box is unmistakably Cambodian, and dates to the earlier part of the 20th century. Shaped as a pumpkin, it separates into a
bottom and a top half. It was used to store elements of the betel nut quid, a mild social narcotic.
The sides are of beaten silver and have been punched with a repeated scale-like motif. The base is engraved with a flower-like motif. The top has been set
with a thick silver stem and flattened silver wires shaped into leaf-like formations.
The box has a fine patina consistent with age and use.
A similar box is illustrated in Fraser-Lu (1989, p. 58).
Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Provenance: UK art market
Inventory no.: 4037 SOLD
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