Jareun Trays: Treasures Speaking for Siam’s Blessings
In the epoch of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn, Thailand experienced a vibrant era as an array of influences streamed into the heart of Siam ceaselessly.
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This period witnessed an effusion of virality across various fronts, be it in industry, art, or culture, all attributed to the intermingling with Western civilization. Furthermore, it was marked by two remarkable royal sojourns to Europe during the reign of King Rama V.
In 1897, during one of his illustrious journeys, King Chulalongkorn visited Hamburg, Germany. On this historic pilgrimage, he commanded an assortment of European commodities. These treasures ranged from telephones and musical contraptions to a highly coveted item in Europe, white porcelain trays adorned with intricate floral patterns. Upon his return to the Land of Siam, King Chulalongkorn, in his magnanimity, saw fit to have these splendid porcelain trays reproduced in the Thai tradition. These trays featured various motifs, such as the royal emblem of the 5th reign paired with that of Queen Saovabha Phongsri, a design bearing the image of the sacred white elephant – the emblem of the era – and elaborate floral patterns.
In addition, His Majesty also commissioned sets of trays from Germany. These sets comprised three trays: large, medium, and small. The conventional trays we commonly encounter were embellished with enchanting roses, paired bouquets of twin flowers, and the auspicious word “เจริญ” (Jareun, signifying prosperity) . On the flip side, a red bird, sometimes referred to as “pheasant”, symbolizing Germany, was often depicted along with the English abbreviation “BMF”, derived from Bayerische Matallwarenfabrik Nuernberg, the company that was established in 1902 and produced a variety of commodities, including porcelain trays.
These trays became a symbol of prosperity and were often manufactured bearing the inscription “เจริญ แอมเอโมกุล” (Jareun M.A. Mogul), signifying M.A. MOGUL, a trading company that conducted business with Siam during the reign of King Rama V. This company primarily imported goods from abroad for the royal court, distributing them to government officials and nobility. The porcelain trays were crafted in limited quantities and bestowed upon members of the royal family, government officials, and nobility as a token to bestow prosperity upon themselves and their households. Additionally, they served as diplomatic offerings during that era.
Another highly favored style of these trays was adorned with meticulously rendered flower patterns. These intricately designed floral embellishments, radiating timeless beauty, underscore the cultural and historical significance of these exceptional works of art. It is through this “Timed Auction” that these invaluable pieces, encapsulating the spirit of an era, are brought to the forefront and should not be overlooked.
A polychrome porcelain tray printed with symbol mark and flowers blossom (1 pc.)
Dimensions: W 21 cm H 3 cm
Circa: 20th Century
Estimated Price: 7,000 – 9,000 THB
Starting Price: 4,000 THB