Bhutan, from Paro or Thimpu.
“Chaka” silver repousse betel box.
Silver, base metal.
Height 1 in, length 4½ in, width 2¾ in.
Good condition. One corner has a small opening from wear.
Coin silver with high silver content made by the repousse technique of hammering sheet silver into a mold and further embellishing the object with engraving. Used by Bhutanese aristocracy to contain “doma” (betel nut) and “pan”, the leaf used to wrap the betel nut, lime and other condiments into a quid. A beautiful accessory item for a practice that served as a daily refreshment. Richly patinated, circa 19th to early 20th century.
Displayed during the exhibition Bhutanese Textiles; Weaving from the Heart, Bank of Thailand Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2008-09.