Hand Hammered Khmer Silver Elephant. Statue. Betel Nut Box. Near 900 Purity Silver. 1960s. Cambodia
Very ornate two-part elephant Betel Nut box. A larger piece compared to the genre of handmade Khmer silver piece found in the shapes of various birds and animals.
This box was made to hold the leaves and other ingredients necessary to provide a mixture of betel….. a mild stimulant used for centuries all over Southeast Asia.
While such silver pieces are difficult to date, this one, judging by design and detail, was made in the early 20th century. Because such silver boxes were highly valued by their owners, they were carefully handled and typically remain in good condition. This one is in VERY good condition, with no dents. The result of the testing on this piece – done while still in Cambodia – indicates a near 900 purity in silver.
I acquired this from an agent who frequently travelled through Kampong Luong, a village outside Phnom Penh. There WERE many silversmithing families in that locale who handcrafted (hand hammered) small pure silver boxes and occasionally items a bit larger. Since the time when he acquired this elephant (early 1960s), many of the families have left.
I have had this fragile, high percentage of silver elephant in my personal collection since 2000.
For the Serious Collector. Tarnish has not been removed. Stand not included.