Indian Beaten Copper Betel Nut Box
AGE: – 18th – 19th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Copper with age related wear
HEIGHT: – 18cm
DIAMETER: – 27cm
WEIGHT: – 4.45 Kg.
#1003 PRICE: – CONTACT
Indian Beaten Copper Betel Nut Box with hand-hammered floral and incised decoration. These small boxes are used to store the ingredients for making paan, a traditional chewable stimulant that consists of betel leaf, slaked lime, tobacco, and the nut from the areca palm as well as other spices. This mixture of ingredients when prepared and placed in the mouth for long periods gives the user a mild aphrodisiac effect.
The preparation of the betel nut with lime stored in ornate boxes with several smaller internal containers was popular all over Asia and is still a common practice in Myanmar and India and among the hill tribes of many S.E. Asian countries.
This Pandan betel nut box contains six small pots, each incised on the tops and sides. Remnants of the ingredients used in the preparation remain inside the containers. Pandan betel nut boxes are not only functional, but also symbolic of hospitality, status, and identity. They are often presented as gifts or displayed as ornaments in homes or temples.
The manufacture of copper items in India for both ornamental and practical use was a flourishing industry up until the 17th Century.
Copper metal was not mentioned in the Rig-Veda, a collection of ancient Indian Vedic Sanskrit hymns written around 2000 B.C., and the earliest of the Vedas. However, it was mentioned in the White Yaurveda, one of the four Vedas which describes copper metal as loha (from lohita or red), in the list of six metals. The word Loha refers to copper or red metal.
Although copper is still mined in Rajasthan in India it is not on a large scale; Copper in India is sourced mainly from overseas to meet the supply and demand for copper crafts.