42. Automobile-shaped Container

42. Automobile-shaped Container
Length: 28.5 cm
Twentieth century
Catalogue number 42.
Accession number 88.510.

This automobile-shaped container has a hinged lid which, when raised, reveals numerous compartments in which various ingredients could be stored. The conception of a storage vessel in the form of an automobile for making pan (rolled betel leaf) reflects British rule and the introduction of automobiles to replace bullock carts and palanquins. It suggests a playful purpose as well as a play for prestige. The more traditional, graceful, tapering container, on the other hand, was used to keep the rolled betel leaves after they had been stuffed with the spices.

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