Siam/Thailand Chinese-Issued Porcelain Gambling Token Pair c.1780’s-1870’s


Porcelain tokens were first used in old Siam as counters for a game called Fantan.
Over time they came to be used as currency within the gaming houses’ districts and were known as pees. The pees were easier to use than the silver bars that served as legal tender in Siam at the time. Eventually the King of Siam introduced coins to the country and the use of the tokens as currency was outlawed. The tokens did not disappear quickly, however. They were used as currency (underground) into the 20th century. It is believed that thousands of designs were created.
There was often a shortage of small change in Siam.

There may be slight variance in colour and type of the tokens you will receive.

Only 2 left in stock

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The two tokens here are gambling token popularised during the Bangkok Dynasty (1782-1809). The tokens are made from porcelain or fine ceramic. They were originally used by Chinese gambling houses in Bangkok, from 1780 to the 1870’s. 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. The gambling tokens here are glazed with bright colors.

There may be slight variance in colour and type of the tokens you will receive.


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