Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

lotowan (lidded box for betel nuts)
  • unknown Maranao maker
  • lotowan (lidded box for betel nuts), late 1800s–1959
  • Where object was made: Lanao del Sur, Philippines
  • brass, silver, inlay, stamping, incising
  • Object Height/Width/Length: 9.5 x 9 x 20 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: 3 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 7 7/8 in
  • Gift of Charles K. Warriner
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3006

Rectangular box that has the corners angled, making a long octagon. The ends have hinged horseshoe shaped handles. The handles have an incised line along the middle and a stamped "V" detail along both edges. The lid is hinged along one long side.

The outside of the box, except the bottom, is highly decorated with a floral looking decoration, identified as okir scroll, done as inlay. The top has a centrally placed four-petaled flower, with a leaf shape on either side. The lid has a border of curlicues on a darker background than the central field.

The long sides are decorated with a leaf shape with a silver circle in the center, pointed down, in the center with an "S" shape in black and silver traveling from the stem of the leaf to either bottom corner. There is a silver circle over the bottom loop, and two triangular designs curling over each circle. The top and bottom repeat the edge decoration from the lid.

The short sides have the central leaf element covering the surface. The top and bottom repeat the edge decoration from the lid. The four small corner panels have a dark vertical line with a fleur-de-lis like element at the top and bottom.

The interior of the box is divided into three separate lidded compartments. The interior of the large lid is plain. Each small lid has the same leaf-like decoration, which mirrors the one next to it, with which it also shares a hinge. The end compartments have residual powder in them. One is white, one is yellowish.