A Balinese Areca Pinang cutter with silver inlay
Chewing pinang nuts, which are actually berry’s is a very old tradition in South East Asia. From Nepal to Thailand and also in Indonesia. Chewing a mixture of areca nuts and betel leafs is still very populair among the inhabitants of Asia. The nuts were chewed during several ceremonies and have the characteristic feature to turn the teeth red.
All parts are stored in special containers, mostly made of brass or silver to store the nuts and leafs. The nuts are cut with a special scissor like this beautifull example.
Bali, Indonesia – 19th century or earlier.
Materials: Iron, Silver
Pinang cutters vary in shape and style. Old examples are always made of wrought iron and are sometimes decorated with silver or gold. Copies are mostly made of brass, except the cutters from India which are most of the times made out of brass.
This example: The handles are made of wrougth iron covered in a silver sheeth. This cutter stylistically shows typical Hindu decoration such as the silver inlay swastika motif and the finely chiseled Garuda* head. Often Balinese cutters feature horse heads and mythical creatures.
Condition: Excellent, some ware due to use, but still very sharp.
Dimensions: 20.5 x 8cm
*Garuda (Vahana), the mythical rider of Visnu in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
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