Pandan box for betel nut and spices

Historical period(s)
18th century
Silver gilt
H x W x D: 15.2 x 20.3 x 15.3 cm (6 x 8 x 6 in)
India, Deccan plateau
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by Rajinder K. Keith and Narinder K. Keith in honor of their father, Sardar Gurdit Singh Keith
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Metalwork


bird, chasing, engraving, flower, gilding, India, makara, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

The offering of pan, a digestive of crushed betel nut, spices, and lime paste rolled into the leaf of a betel plant, is an Indian social ritual that conveys hospitality and refinement. Scrolled foliate designs interspersed with birds adorn this gilt silver pan box. The gilding suggests it was made for an aristocratic family. Its pierced openwork and floral motifs relate the box to metalwork produced in the Deccani plateau, a region in central India.

Published References
  • America's Smithsonian: Celebrating 150 Years. Washington, 1996. p. 81.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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