AGE: – 19th – early 20th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Brass
DESCRIPTION: – Antique Indonesian Brass Tepak Sireh Betel Nut Set
HEIGHT: – 42cm
TOP DIAMETER:– 23cm
BASE DIAMETER: – 15cm
WEIGHT:– 4.15 Kg.
For enquiries include Item number: #32
19th to early 20th Century Antique Indonesian Brass Tepak Sireh Betel Nut Set is an ornate set with petal like protrusions which surround the four containers with a fifth container on the top of the centre piece.
Intricate alternating panels of a geometric and floral incised traditional Islamic pattern decorates the body of the main part and again on the containers used to hold the areca nut, a nut derived from the areca palm tree. This is an antique piece and as such it is not in perfect condition and one of the betel nut containers is possibly not belonging to the set. The centre plate which holds the containers would appear to be a replacement for the original.
Although betel nut chewing has waned in many Asian countries with only the old continuing the practice in some countries with Myanmar being the exception, both young and old still chew betel nut, also in Papua New Guinea and India the old and young also still adhere strongly to this century’s old tradition.
The betal nut is prepared by adding the lime to the areca nut then wrapping it in a betel leaf then chewed. It is thought to have a slight aphrodisiac or stimulant affect and turns the mouth bright red. Betel nut chewing was/is used in ceremonies such as marriages, births engagements and other occasions worthy of celebrating, hence, elaborate and beautiful Tepak Sireh sets have been made for hundreds of years to accommodate this practice.
Informative article on “Betel Chewing Traditions in South East Asia” by Dawn F. Rooney