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{"id":5592467341462,"title":"Antique Silver, Gold \u0026 Suasa Betel Container, Malaysia Or Indonesian Archipelago C.1900","handle":"antique-silver-gold-and-suasa-betel-container-malaysia-or-indonesian-archipelago-c-1901","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis unusual and luxurious antique mixed metal betel container has been crafted to resemble a curvaceous gourd or other member of the pumpkin family. It has a rounded top to cover the box which is rounded again, in a similar way, at the base of the container. With naturalistic indentations to the top, base and sides, the curved stalk and the crown of golden leaves surrounding the base of the stem, re-affirm the likeness to the vegetable, completing the effect. This box would have been used to contain betel leaves, areca nuts or other ingredients required for the preparation of a quid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe box has a lift off silver cover with a curved top which has been divided like a pumpkin, or a mangosteen fruit, into nine distinct segments. Out of the centre of the top, a short tubular stalk of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003esuasa\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e(an alloy of gold and copper with a reddish tinge) emerges. \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eSuasa\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis an alloy which was occasionally used in Malaysian and Sumatran metalwork. The stalk is of curved shape and forms a handle which allows the cover of the box to be removed easily. The sides of the stalk have been chased with lines to heighten the naturalistic effect and there is a finely beaded border near to the top of the stalk which, at the end, contains an attractive almandine garnet jewel of a rich purple pink colour. Surrounding the base of the stem is a wreath of nine yellow gold leaves, with each leaf defined by a finely beaded border to the edge and ornamented with a delicate scrolling leaf, which has been fashioned using repousse and chased techniques.  The Asian Civilisations Museum has several betel containers of pumpkin form within its metalwork collection.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe history of betel chewing dates back at least 2,000 years and the habit became widespread across South East Asia.   Three essential ingredients were needed to make a betel quid:  a leaf from the vine of the \u003cem\u003epiper betle\u003c\/em\u003e pepper plant; lime - ground to a powder and slaked with water and nuts from the \u003cem\u003eareca catechu\u003c\/em\u003e palm.  Many other additives, including tobacco, spices, gambier and various flavourings, could also be used but those three primary ingredients were considered essential. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBetel chewing and betel ceremonies were woven into society at every level and betel was chewed by men and women of all ages, including children, in the past. Betel was an ever present constant in people’s lives and was included in all the rituals surrounding personal events such as courtship, engagement, marriage and both pre and post childbirth.  Betel was used by kings and commoners alike both personally and in social situations.  It was also used to seal agreements such as business and marriage contracts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere was a great deal of paraphernalia attached to the betel habit; containers of various sizes and shapes were needed to store the ingredients and special tools were required to cut the betel nuts and assemble the quid. These containers were made in many different materials such as wood, lacquer and various metals, at differing costs.  The quality of the betel set which an individual or a family owned reflected their income and social standing. A well made and richly ornamented betel container, such as this example, would undoubtedly have belonged to an extremely rich individual of very high rank and social standing.  Solid silver and gold sets, sometimes inlaid with precious stones, were often reserved for the exclusive use of the rulers and their immediate families. Betel was used as a social denominator amongst royalty; the king was attended by his “betel slave” who would carry the king’s set of containers, which were needed to prepare his betel quid. Betel sets were often exchanged as diplomatic gifts between rulers.  Within the collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum is a betel set made of silver with gold applications which was used by by the royal family from Sambas, West Kalimantan, Indonesia and a solid gold betel set was one of the seven articles required for the ceremony when a Sultan of Terengganu was installed.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:- \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eUK antiques trade\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions:- \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eHeight 7 cms; Width 6 cms;\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:-  \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e192 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRaimy Che-Ross, Malay Silverware, Arts of Asia, Volume 42, Issue 1, January-February 2012, pages 68-83\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDawn F Rooney, Betel Chewing Traditions in South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur 1993\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eH  Ling Roth, Oriental Silverwork Malay and Chinese, Oxford University Press, London\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-08-10T00:28:29+01:00","created_at":"2020-08-10T00:14:34+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Betel Container","tags":["Sold Archive"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":false,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":35689668870294,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":false,"name":"Antique Silver, Gold \u0026 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unusual and luxurious antique mixed metal betel container has been crafted to resemble a curvaceous gourd or other member of the pumpkin family. It has a rounded top to cover the box which is rounded again, in a similar way, at the base of the container. With naturalistic indentations to the top, base and sides, the curved stalk and the crown of golden leaves surrounding the base of the stem, re-affirm the likeness to the vegetable, completing the effect. This box would have been used to contain betel leaves, areca nuts or other ingredients required for the preparation of a quid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe box has a lift off silver cover with a curved top which has been divided like a pumpkin, or a mangosteen fruit, into nine distinct segments. Out of the centre of the top, a short tubular stalk of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003esuasa\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e(an alloy of gold and copper with a reddish tinge) emerges. \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eSuasa\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis an alloy which was occasionally used in Malaysian and Sumatran metalwork. The stalk is of curved shape and forms a handle which allows the cover of the box to be removed easily. The sides of the stalk have been chased with lines to heighten the naturalistic effect and there is a finely beaded border near to the top of the stalk which, at the end, contains an attractive almandine garnet jewel of a rich purple pink colour. Surrounding the base of the stem is a wreath of nine yellow gold leaves, with each leaf defined by a finely beaded border to the edge and ornamented with a delicate scrolling leaf, which has been fashioned using repousse and chased techniques.  The Asian Civilisations Museum has several betel containers of pumpkin form within its metalwork collection.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe history of betel chewing dates back at least 2,000 years and the habit became widespread across South East Asia.   Three essential ingredients were needed to make a betel quid:  a leaf from the vine of the \u003cem\u003epiper betle\u003c\/em\u003e pepper plant; lime - ground to a powder and slaked with water and nuts from the \u003cem\u003eareca catechu\u003c\/em\u003e palm.  Many other additives, including tobacco, spices, gambier and various flavourings, could also be used but those three primary ingredients were considered essential. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBetel chewing and betel ceremonies were woven into society at every level and betel was chewed by men and women of all ages, including children, in the past. Betel was an ever present constant in people’s lives and was included in all the rituals surrounding personal events such as courtship, engagement, marriage and both pre and post childbirth.  Betel was used by kings and commoners alike both personally and in social situations.  It was also used to seal agreements such as business and marriage contracts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere was a great deal of paraphernalia attached to the betel habit; containers of various sizes and shapes were needed to store the ingredients and special tools were required to cut the betel nuts and assemble the quid. These containers were made in many different materials such as wood, lacquer and various metals, at differing costs.  The quality of the betel set which an individual or a family owned reflected their income and social standing. A well made and richly ornamented betel container, such as this example, would undoubtedly have belonged to an extremely rich individual of very high rank and social standing.  Solid silver and gold sets, sometimes inlaid with precious stones, were often reserved for the exclusive use of the rulers and their immediate families. Betel was used as a social denominator amongst royalty; the king was attended by his “betel slave” who would carry the king’s set of containers, which were needed to prepare his betel quid. Betel sets were often exchanged as diplomatic gifts between rulers.  Within the collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum is a betel set made of silver with gold applications which was used by by the royal family from Sambas, West Kalimantan, Indonesia and a solid gold betel set was one of the seven articles required for the ceremony when a Sultan of Terengganu was installed.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:- \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eUK antiques trade\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions:- \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eHeight 7 cms; Width 6 cms;\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:-  \u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e192 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRaimy Che-Ross, Malay Silverware, Arts of Asia, Volume 42, Issue 1, January-February 2012, pages 68-83\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDawn F Rooney, Betel Chewing Traditions in South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur 1993\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eH  Ling Roth, Oriental Silverwork Malay and Chinese, Oxford University Press, London\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Silver, Gold & Suasa Betel Container, Malaysia Or Indonesian Archipelago C.1900

Product Description

This unusual and luxurious antique mixed metal betel container has been crafted to resemble a curvaceous gourd or other member of the pumpkin family. It has a rounded top to cover the box which is rounded again, in a similar way, at the base of the container. With naturalistic indentations to the top, base and sides, the curved stalk and the crown of golden leaves surrounding the base of the stem, re-affirm the likeness to the vegetable, completing the effect. This box would have been used to contain betel leaves, areca nuts or other ingredients required for the preparation of a quid.

The box has a lift off silver cover with a curved top which has been divided like a pumpkin, or a mangosteen fruit, into nine distinct segments. Out of the centre of the top, a short tubular stalk of suasa (an alloy of gold and copper with a reddish tinge) emerges.  Suasa is an alloy which was occasionally used in Malaysian and Sumatran metalwork. The stalk is of curved shape and forms a handle which allows the cover of the box to be removed easily. The sides of the stalk have been chased with lines to heighten the naturalistic effect and there is a finely beaded border near to the top of the stalk which, at the end, contains an attractive almandine garnet jewel of a rich purple pink colour. Surrounding the base of the stem is a wreath of nine yellow gold leaves, with each leaf defined by a finely beaded border to the edge and ornamented with a delicate scrolling leaf, which has been fashioned using repousse and chased techniques.  The Asian Civilisations Museum has several betel containers of pumpkin form within its metalwork collection.

The history of betel chewing dates back at least 2,000 years and the habit became widespread across South East Asia.   Three essential ingredients were needed to make a betel quid:  a leaf from the vine of the piper betle pepper plant; lime - ground to a powder and slaked with water and nuts from the areca catechu palm.  Many other additives, including tobacco, spices, gambier and various flavourings, could also be used but those three primary ingredients were considered essential. 

Betel chewing and betel ceremonies were woven into society at every level and betel was chewed by men and women of all ages, including children, in the past. Betel was an ever present constant in people’s lives and was included in all the rituals surrounding personal events such as courtship, engagement, marriage and both pre and post childbirth.  Betel was used by kings and commoners alike both personally and in social situations.  It was also used to seal agreements such as business and marriage contracts.

There was a great deal of paraphernalia attached to the betel habit; containers of various sizes and shapes were needed to store the ingredients and special tools were required to cut the betel nuts and assemble the quid. These containers were made in many different materials such as wood, lacquer and various metals, at differing costs.  The quality of the betel set which an individual or a family owned reflected their income and social standing. A well made and richly ornamented betel container, such as this example, would undoubtedly have belonged to an extremely rich individual of very high rank and social standing.  Solid silver and gold sets, sometimes inlaid with precious stones, were often reserved for the exclusive use of the rulers and their immediate families. Betel was used as a social denominator amongst royalty; the king was attended by his “betel slave” who would carry the king’s set of containers, which were needed to prepare his betel quid. Betel sets were often exchanged as diplomatic gifts between rulers.  Within the collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum is a betel set made of silver with gold applications which was used by by the royal family from Sambas, West Kalimantan, Indonesia and a solid gold betel set was one of the seven articles required for the ceremony when a Sultan of Terengganu was installed.

Provenance:-  UK antiques trade

Dimensions:-  Height 7 cms; Width 6 cms;

Weight:-   192 grammes

References:-

The collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

The collection of the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum

Raimy Che-Ross, Malay Silverware, Arts of Asia, Volume 42, Issue 1, January-February 2012, pages 68-83

Dawn F Rooney, Betel Chewing Traditions in South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur 1993

H  Ling Roth, Oriental Silverwork Malay and Chinese, Oxford University Press, London

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