Vintage East Java Indonesian Brass Tepak Sireh Betel Nut Set 7 Pieces


Additional information





DATE: Circa

Late 19th Century – Mid 20th Century


Frank Zappa once said, “Tobacco is my favorite vegetable.” Well, he would have really enjoyed this awesome brass Tepak Sireh betel nut set, and we love it too…but we think it has more artistic potential than the original job it was given. The custom of chewing a mixture of the betel nut leaf and areca nut was a common practice throughout Indonesia, and much of Southeast Asia, dating back thousands of years. Betel (also known as paan in India or sirih in Malaysia and Indonesia) is the palm nut, lime powder & vine leaf mixture that was traditionally chewed in South & Southeast Asia. It is a mild social stimulant similar to alcohol or tobacco. This elaborate brass Tepak Sireh betel nut set includes a large brass bowl, removeable lid, which is also a tray, two rounded containers with lids, two smaller vessels without lids, and a narrow, vase style vessel for holding various ingredients. They are beautifully welded, hammered, and hand tooled with intricate detail and what is distinctive about this kind of brass work from East Java is that the finely etched typical Javan interlocking ‘banji’ design is a symbolic reminder of Java’s early Buddhist faith. Isn’t that an interesting piece of knowledge??  Anyway, the lidded base would have held betel leaves and ensured they would have remained moist. The design is quite ingenious and allows for the tray to be separated from the bowl and presented to guests to share in a betel nut chew. The other containers would have held lime paste, areca nut, spices, or extract from the gambier plant, and of course, tobacco. The largest implement would have been used as a spittoon. Betel sets were status symbols, especially for wealthier families and were at the heart of most social and ceremonial events such as weddings and are among the most beautiful and collectable items of material culture produced in Southeast Asia. This gorgeous betel set would be a beautiful centerpiece on a dining table or displayed nobly in a China hutch, credenza, buffet, or on a dry bar. It is an amazing representation of Indonesian décor and would be a fabulous conversation piece at your next social function. We are in awe of this stunning vintage Indonesian brass Tepak Sireh betel nut set and surely you must be too? Time to make it yours!!

the 411
from 414

the details

Phenomenal vintage East Java Indonesian brass Tepak Sireh betel nut set including a large brass bowl with removeable lid which doubles as a tray, two rounded containers with lids, two smaller vessels without lids, and a narrow vessel, all with welded, hammered, and etched hand tooling. Beautiful condition, keeping in mind that these are vintage and not new so will have signs of use and wear. Please see photos and zoom in for details. We attempt to portray any imperfections. Circa, Mid 19th– Mid 20th Century.

Largest Bowl/Spittoon:

  • Height w/lid – 9.5 Inches
  • Height w/o lid – 4.5 Inches
  • Diameter – 8 Inches
  • Weight – 4.18 Pounds

Tallest Vessel:

  • Height – 3.75 Inches
  • Diameter – 3.5 Inches
  • Weight – .5 Pounds

Rounded Vessels Each:

  • Height w/lid – 2.75 Inches
  • Height w/o lid- 1.75 Inches
  • Diameter – 2.75 Inches
  • Weight – .33 Pounds

Smallest Vessels Each:

  • Height – 1.75 Inches
  • Diameter – 2 Inches
  • Weight – .24 Pounds

Boxed Size:

  • Height – 16 Inches
  • Width – 14 Inches
  • Depth – 14 Inches
  • Weight – 15 Pounds


We ask that the buyer cover freight.

100 MILES OR LESS OF 66607
White Glove, Blanket-wrapped Est. Delivery: 5 biz days


Pickup at 414 SE 2nd St.
Call us at 232.8008 to schedule

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