Antique Silver Box Hmong Hill Tribe Laos ETJ133


This 19th century lime box is made of solid high grade silver by the Hmong. For generations it was used to keep slaked lime to be added to betel for chewing, providing a mildly intoxicating effect. Common to silver objects of utility of this age it has expected superficial wear such as minor dents and scratches, but the lid still fits neatly and there are no cracks.

Availability: In stock

The Hmong are a fiercely independent mountain dwelling people found throughout SE Asia and southern China and were renowned for their silversmith skills and unique designs. They were the first hill tribe group to successfully cultivate opium, which provided the income to amass silver and fashion it into adornments. Sadly today, new Hmong jewelry is made from aluminum along with inferior alloys and the workmanship is inferior to that of the past.

Reference: Paul & Elaine Lewis, Peoples of the Golden Triangle p.66

Width: 7.5cm, 2 in
Height: 6cm, 2 in
Weight: 82 grams / 3oz.
Period: 19th century
Provenance: Luang Prabang, Laos

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