Old Lacquer Betel Box from Kutch - 19thC
Paan is a preparation, which combines a paste of spices in a betel leaf, which is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects. After chewing it is either spat out or swallowed.
Paan has many variations. Slaked lime (chunnam) paste is commonly added to bind the leaves. The skilled paan maker is known as a paanwala in North India.
Lacquering is done by craftsman on a hand powered lathe. The wood is spun and a lac stick is pressed against it. As
it spins the friction softens the lac which coats the surface of the wood.
The design of this pretty has been inspired by the Art Deco period. It has some small chipped areas which have carefully been re-touched in India - this is refected in the price.
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