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BRONZE KHMER PAIR OF LIME / BETEL POTS

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Pair of Khmer bronze lime pots used to hold powdered lime for betel chewing. The fluted containers comprise two parts of about equal height with a tall narrow neck and a lotus bud on top, a Buddhist inspired motif.

Pot in bronze resting on a pedestal with a three-tier lid that served for storing betel. High ovoid shape, good overall ancient golden green patina. Excellent state of preservation.

Betel is a climbing plant with medicinal properties, native to Malaysia. The properties of this plant are mainly psycho-stimulating, toning, it helps fight against headaches, constipation and promotes lactation. In Malaysia, it is used as a remedy for rheumatism, in China against toothaches and in Indonesia as an antibiotic. In India and Vietnam the leaves are chewed with lime and the nut of a palm tree called Arec. This mixture which gives a characteristic red colour saliva takes the name of Betel. Nowadays the full betel service includes a metal box containing betel leaves, a knife to cut the Arec nuts and a spoon to be used in the lime jar.


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