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Loan Object

Lime Container

19th–early 20th century

Bamboo or bone, with wood, cotton, glass beads, and copper

7.5 × 3 cm (2 15/16 × 1 3/16 in.)
9 × 8.5 cm (3 9/16 × 3 3/8 in.)
base: 14 × 6.3 × 11.7 cm (5 1/2 × 2 1/2 × 4 5/8 in.)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
Elaborately decorated betel implements may indicate status. Betel is a mild narcotic used throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific. A small bundle of chopped betel nut (the fruit of the areca palm), the fruit or leaf of a betel pepper (Piper betle, not botanically related to the areca palm), and lime is known as a “betel quid” and is chewed on all social occasions. The containers that hold the betel quid are often ornately decorated and function as personal or household treasures. This small lime container is a fine example of how the lavish embellishments of beads, mother-of-pearl, and Dutch East India Company (VOC) coins can outweigh the functionality of the container.
Made in Timor, Indonesia
On view
19th–20th century
Containers - Other

Ex-collection: K. Watters, Los Angeles

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.