Red Lacquer Betel Box

c. 1900
$188 USD
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Dimensions
H: 1.5" Dia: 3.0"
Materials
Wood
Lacquer
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CBH053C
Estimated Shipping
$15

In many southeast Asian cultures, offering guests a betel quid to chew was the fundamental symbol of hospitality. A blend of leaves, nuts, seasonings, and sometimes tobacco, betel was kept in finely worked and decorated boxes. This round betel box is painted with concentric circles of red, black, and yellow lacquer, delineated by finely etched lines that were likely once filled with gold pigment. The petite box is topped with a brass pull shaped like a flower and remains vibrant even after a century of use.

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