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Mughal Court Silver Pandan Box

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Mughal Court Silver Pandan Box

A kingly silver box taken as loot by the Bengal Fusiliers in 1857

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Mughal Court Silver Pandan Box

India

Mid 19th Century

The onion shaped pandan box in three sections has a deep cut hobnail design to the body with a leaf motif terminating in a detachable finial with integral lime spoon. The base section has six heart shaped compartments with a separate lime paste container in the centre with a gilded top and flower head stopper.

The box was used to store the pandan leaf used in the preparation of pan. Lime paste was mixed with grated areca nut and flavourings and the resulting mixture was rolled in the pan leaf to form a small parcel which would then be chewed.
As well as being an integral part of Indian hospitality pan was believed to possess medicinal properties and was taken as an aphrodisiac.

Height 18 cm Diameter 15 cm (7 x 6 in)

Provenance:
Captain Ellis Cunliffe September 1857
Mary Cunliffe
Walter Cunliffe 1927
Detailed in an accompanying letter from Mary Cunliffe to Walter Cunliffe dated 4th July 1938 Mowbreck Hall, Kirkham, Lancs. "The spice box was loot from Delhi, I think the seige and capture was in Sept 14th-23rd 1857 and my father was Captain Ellis Cunliffe at the time & his reg.t the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers"

1311/2621

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