AGE: – 18th – 19th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Copper
DESCRIPTION: – Indian Beaten Copper Betel Nut Pandan Box – damage to top centre section (see picture)
HEIGHT: – 18cm
DIAMETER: – 27cm
WEIGHT: – 4.45 Kg.
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Indian Beaten Copper Betel Nut Pandan Box – with hand hammered/beaten floral and incised decoration used to store betel leaf, lime, tobacco and the nut from the areca palm. This mixture of ingredients when prepared and placed in the mouth for long periods gives the user a mild aphrodisiac affect.
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 with remnants of the ingredients used in the preparation inside the containers.
The manufacture of copper items in India for both ornamental and practical use was from ancient and medieval times a flourishing industry up until the 17th Century.
Copper was not mentioned in the Rig-Veda, the ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns written around 2000 B.C., the earliest of the Vedas. However it was mentioned in the White Yaurveda, one of the four Vedas written later described copper as loha (from lohita or red) in the list of six metals. The word Loha referred to as copper or red metal.
Although copper is still mined in Rajasthan in India it seems not on a large scale. Copper is sourced mainly from overseas to meet the supply and demand.