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Arts CultureKing Rama V’s Golden Bowls Are Up For Auction In Denmark

King Rama V’s Golden Bowls Are Up For Auction In Denmark

King Rama V’s Golden Bowls Are Up For Auction In Denmark
By Anna Thong
May 25, 2019
The items were given to Dane Andreas Du Plessis de Richelieu by His Majesty on two separate occasions

If you’re in the market for a pair of golden bowls previously owned by King Rama V, then you’re in the right place. The two of the past Thai monarch's receptacles are up for grabs next week at the Bruun Rasmussen Auction House in Copenhagen.

The bowls will be the centrepiece at this year's art and antique auction
The bowls will be the centrepiece at this year's art and antique auction

Both of the bowls are made from the purest gold. They ended up in the possession of Andreas Du Plessis de Richelieu (1852- 932) after he was gifted them by the King on two separate occasions. Richelieu was a Dane, admiral, businessman, politician and one of King Chulalongkorn’s closest advisors.

Photos: Courtesy of Bruun Rasmussen
Photos: Courtesy of Bruun Rasmussen

The first and largest bowl was given to the Dane when he was awarded the highest Siamese noble title of Phya Pan Tong in 1893. The second bowl in the shape of a lotus was then gifted as a farewell present when Richelieu decided to return back to Denmark in 1902 with his family after 25 years in Siam. Since the death of Richelieu in 1932, the precious golden bowls have remained in the ownership of the family.

"It is quite extraordinary to see Asian decorative art of pure gold. It is also a rare occasion to be able to present a gift from a king at auction—and finally, there is the story that comes with the bowls, which is outstanding in itself.”

Ralph Lexner, The Head of Bruun Rasmussen’s Department of Asian Art

Photos: Courtesy of Bruun Rasmussen
Photos: Courtesy of Bruun Rasmussen

Now auctioning for a small fortune, the rare bowls include a personal inscription by the King, highlighting Richelieu’s talents as an advisor as well as his status as a highly cherished friend:

"To his Excellency Phya Cholayutyothin in dear remembrance as a token of high esteem of old acquaintance and sincere friendship."

The auction takes place at 2pm on May 28 at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen, with a preview period from May 23-27. Learn more at bruun-rasmussen.dk.

See also: 10 Most Expensive Gemstones Ever Sold At Auction

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