An image of Covered box

Unknown Artist

Covered box

Other titles:
Box for betel nut utensils
Not on display
Further information

This box and its various compartments held all the implements and ingredients required for the hospitable gesture of preparing and offering the betel nut concoction popular in many Southeast Asian countries. The box is skilfully inlaid with mother-of-pearl, which has been expertly shaped to fully exploit the glowing tones of opalescent pink and blue-green that can be elicited from the shell by a careful artisan. The scene on the cover, as well as the floral sprays around the sides, are Chinese in taste, and the piece could well have been made for use within the imperial court at Hue, the 19th century capital of the last royal dynasty in Vietnam, the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945).

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.304.

Place of origin
Viet Nam
Cultural origin
Old Imperial capital of Hue
Viet Nam: Nguyen dynasty 1802–1945
circa 1900
tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, lacquer, gesso, gold leaf, silver
11.0 cm; 24.5 cm diam.
Goldie Sternberg Southeast Asian Art Purchase Fund 1992
Accession number