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Siamese/Thailand Gambling Token

A hexagonal shaped token.On the green side are four embossed Chinese characters, hoh - yüan and kung - ssü, in pink with a white border which is the name of the issuer. In cobalt blue underglaze on the back is the character qian (coin), denoting it is worth one Thai salung coin (equal to one quarter baht). Source:British Museum

A hexagonal shaped token.On the green side are four embossed Chinese characters, hoh - yüan and kung - ssü, in pink with a white border which is the name of the issuer. In cobalt blue underglaze on the back is the character qian (coin), denoting it is worth one Thai salung coin (equal to one quarter baht). Source:British Museum

The above are gambling token popularized during the Bangkok Dynasty (1782-1809). Most of these tokens were made from porcelain or ceramic. They were originally used by Chinese gambling houses in Bangkok. Due to the shortage of silver coins and diminishing use of the cowrie shell( also used as coin), these gambling tokens were found to be very useful and used in the daily life of the people until the 1870s. These porcelain token bore Chinese inscriptions naming the issuing house or wishing the users good fortune and pictorial designs mostly of Chinese origin. Very often, these gambling tokens were glazed with bright colors.

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