The steel blade with engraved decoration and of guillotine form, the cutter is spring loaded and has a locking catch in the form of a stylised huma bird (bird of paradise) that swivels.
Length 6” (15cm)
A fine example, probably Indian, circa 1800
Stock No. 9645
The betel cutter was used t shave thin slices from the areca nut, commonly known as the betel nut because of its use with the betel leaf in providing a stimulant when mixed with lime and flavourings and then placed in the cheek. The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm, which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia and parts of East Africa. When ripe, the husk is of a yellowy orange colour and the fruit of hard, wood-like consistency. The chewing of the betel nut has been a tradition or ritual that dates back thousands of years, with archaeological evidence of the combination of the areca nut and betel leaf in providing a psychoactive drug having been found in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines and dating back at least 4000 years.