Michael Backman Ltd
Betel Antiques
Click here for an essay on betel and its use.
Engraved Brass Betel or Tobacco Box
Malay Peninsular
19th century
Inventory no.: 314
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Lacquer Betel Box
Shan States, Eastern Burma
circa 1880
Inventory no.: 539
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Large Lacquered Betel Box
Burma
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 291
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Four Jamnagar ‘Gulab’ Betel Cutters
Jamnagar, India, but collected in Java, Indonesia
19th-20th century
Inventory no.: 226
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Silver Betel / Tobacco Box
Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century
Inventory no.: 639
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Silver Betel / Tobacco Box
Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century
Inventory no.: 640
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Silver Betel / Tobacco Box
Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century
Inventory no.: 641
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Tortoiseshell Betel Box with Engraved, Parcel-gilt Silver Mounts
Sri Lanka
late 18th century
Inventory no.: 1010
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From where do we source our items? We do not go on buying trips to Asia. Nor do we actively buy from dealers or suppliers based in Asia. We do not source items
from India itself for example. Almost all the items stocked by Michael Backman Ltd have been sourced from the UK - from old collections. Countless items were brought to
the UK during the colonial era by colonial administrators and the like. Other items were made in Asia for export to the UK – the UK was wealthy early: it has been a major
destination for the world’s exports for hundreds of years.  This means that most of our items have been in the UK for at least sixty to two hundred years.

The conditions in which they have been kept often has been very good – the climate is kind, and there are relatively few pests. Many items were acquired as keepsakes
and curios, meaning that they stopped being used once they came to the UK. This too has helped to preserve them and their conditions often are far better than had they
remained in their home countries. Buying from old UK sources means that the items have good provenance; it helps to avoid fakes, and items that have been amended or
embellished. It also means that our items are obtained legally – today, most countries in Asia prohibit the export of their antiques. So, because of its colonial past, the UK is
perhaps the world’s biggest source of genuine antiques from Asia, perhaps more so than Asia itself, and that is the source into which we tap.

All the items on this page are available for sale. We are based in central London, but sell to clients around the world.  
Want to enquire about an item on this page?
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Exceptionally Fine Parcel-Gilt Silver Filigree Pandan
Deccan, India
18th century
Inventory no.: 1715
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Dutch Colonial Amboyna Wood & Red Lacquer Betel Box with Silver Mounts
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
late 17th-early 18th century
Inventory no.: 1716
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Inscribed Cast Brass Spittoon
North India
17th century
Inventory no.: 2110
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Lime Container in the form of a Rooster on a Crocodile
Iatmul People, Middle Sepik River Region, Papua New Guinea
early 20th century
Provenance: collected in the early 20th century
Inventory no.: 2182
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Large, Engraved Silver Betel Box with Gold Top
Bugis People, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
19th century
Inventory no.: 2245
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Cast Brass Spittoon
Kelantan, Malaysia
19th century
Inventory no.: 2109
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Large Cast Brass Lime Container
Toba Batak People, North Sumatra, Indonesia
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 2708
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Engraved Silver Betel/Tobacco Box with Engraved Gold Plaque
Sumatra, Indonesia
18th-19th century
Inventory no.: 2106
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Engraved Silver Betel/Tobacco Box with Engraved Gold Plaque
Sumatra, Indonesia
18th-19th century
Inventory no.: 2105
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Amboyna Wood Betel Box with Silver Mounts
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
first half of the 18th century
provenance: Russian royal family, by repute
Inventory no.: 2722
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Dutch Colonial Betel Box of Ebony with Silver Mounts
Sri Lanka or Batavia
18th century
Inventory no.: 2825
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Four-Piece Gilded Lacquer Processional Betel Holders
Burma
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 3083
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Silver & Gilt Betel Box Set
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
early 19th century
Inventory no.: 3229
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Gilded Niello Box
Thailand
19th century
Inventory no.: 3163
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Engraved Brass Circular Pandan
Deccan, India
17th-18th century
Inventory no.: 3126
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Very Fine Silver Lime Container (Killotaya)
Sri Lanka
18th-19th century
Inventory no.: 3381
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Silver-Inlaid Brass Betel Box
Mindanao, Philippines
19th-20th century
Inventory 3535
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Cast Bronze Lime Container
India
18th century
Inventory no.: 3735
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Dutch Colonial Betel Box of Amboyna Wood & Pierced Silver Mounts
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
18th century
Inventory no.: 3791
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