Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins
The Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins is a museum showcasing Regalia, Royal Thai Decorations of the early period, Ancient Thai money and Ornaments used in the royal courts, etc. It is under the supervision of the Bureau of Grand National Treasure, the Treasury Department which has the main responsibilities to safekeeping, conserving and displaying of the national treasure. The Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations & Coins is located inside the Royal Grand Palace, at the entrance of the Emerald Buddha Temple.
- 1 History
- 2 The Exhibition Rooms
- 3 Royal Regalia used in royal ceremonies
- 4 The Attire of the Emerald Buddha
- 5 The Royal Ceremony of the “One Month and the Cradle” Celebration
- 6 Components of the Royal Regalia
- 7 The Evolution of Thai Coins
- 8 Temporary Exhibition
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In 1976, the museum was originally called “The Coins Pavilion” and was established by the Treasury Department to display the evolution of Thai coins. The museum was officially inaugurated on 14 April 1976, presided over by their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn. In 1978, the Treasury Department expanded the scope of the collection to include royal regalia and decorations and was renamed “The Royal Regalia, Decorations and Coins Pavilion.” The new and expanded collection was officially opened on 11 August 1978 and once again presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn.
In 1992, after almost two decades and over half a million visitors a year, the need to re-develop the museum was apparent. A new interior, a new design, refurbished rooms, and more selective display items were required along with a need to focus on preservation as well as the security of the museum. Once renovations were completed a new name was chosen, “The Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins.”
In 2002, the restructuring of the Treasury Department created a new office, “The Bureau of Grand National Treasure.” Its primary purpose is to conserve as well as display the items housed by the museum. Since the establishment of this new government department on 3 October 2002, “The Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins” has been managed by the Bureau of Grand National Treasure.
The Exhibition Rooms
The History of the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins
This room displays the origin, history and establishment of the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations & Coins, and shows the items used when Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn presided over the inauguration of “The Royal Regalia and Decorations Pavilion” in 1976 and 1978.
The Royal Regalia and the origin and history of Royal Thai Decorations
Regalia symbolize prestige and rank and were also rewards for good service. It was an ancient tradition where the King bestowed regalia on members of the royal family, courtiers and officials according to their rank and status. The room exhibits the various types of regalia, such as regalia for prosperity, headgear, attire, royal paraphernalia and weapons of rank. Their design and the metal used differs according to the rank of the recipient and the period in which they were made. The regalia on display includes regalia for prosperity, headgear, attires, weapon and royal paraphernalia set. Also on display are original Royal Thai decorations such as “The Dara Irapot” or the Three headed Elephant Star, which was created in 1857 during the reign of King Rama IV.
Royal Regalia used in royal ceremonies
The Coronation Ceremony
The Coronation ceremony in Thailand is performed to honor the new King, and has been performed since the Sukhothai Kingdom (around the 13th to 15th centuries). This room displays the items used in the coronation ceremonies such as Chada Phra Kleeb (the crown with petal-shape top), gold plate featuring Rajasri and the gold tablet bearing the king’s name and title, etc.
The Royal Tonsure Ceremony
The Royal Tonsure, or topknot-cutting ceremony is an ancient ritual that marks the “coming of age” for a royal child. The coming of age for a boy is around 11 – 13 years old, and for a girl it is when she is 11 years of age. The ceremony was last performed in the Royal Thai court in 1928 during the reign of King Rama VII. This room displays the items used in the royal tonsure ceremony such as the chest piece decorations, the shoulder decorations, the gold chain decorated with diamond, rings, the nine gems ring, paddle-like Implement, gold belt and buckle.
The Attire of the Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha is an object of national veneration. The Buddha image was first found in 1464 and is carved from a large piece of jade. This display shows the new attires of the Emerald Buddha for the summer, rainy and winter seasons which were created on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s ascension to the throne. The king of the Chakri Dynasty changes the attire of the Emerald Buddha at the beginning of each season with the following schedules:
1. The Summer Season Attire:
2. The Rainy Season Attire:
3. The Cold Season Attire:
Scheduled to be changed on the 1st day of the waning of the 12th lunar moon, that is, the Month of November
The Royal Ceremony of the “One Month and the Cradle” Celebration
The Royal Ceremony for the celebration of Royal children reaching the age of one month and the cradle ceremony is considered an important ancient royal function. The king performs the Ceremony for all sons, daughters, nephews and nieces when they reach the age of one month. The exhibit displays the Royal Cradle and items used in the “One Month and the Cradle” ceremony which include a photograph of a guardian angel, a grind stone, gold and silver coconuts, a bag of yellow beans, white sesame seeds and paddy rice, gold and silver prawns and fish and a large bowl which contains holy water.
Components of the Royal Regalia
This exhibit displays the Components of Royal Regalia of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The regalia includes a gold-enameled betel nut tray set, a gold–enameled betel nut case studded with diamonds, a gold face bathing bowl with pedestal tray, a gold-enameled drinking water bowl with a carved gold pedestal tray and a gold cup, a gold cylindrical kettle, a gold tea set with jade cup and lid and a gold–enameled spittoon. The exhibit also displays the photographs of the Royal Regalia of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. The Crown Prince was bestowed with the Golden Tablet of Style and title, the Royal seal, the Royal Decorations and the Royal Regalia in accordance with the ancient Royal tradition.
The Evolution of Thai Coins
This room exhibits money used in Thailand since the ancient time to the present. It starts with the round flat coins of Funan and Dvaravati kingdoms which occupied areas which are now some parts of Thailand. When Sukhothai Kingdom was founded in 1238, the money called “Pod Duang” or “Bullet Money” was created. The money was mostly made of silver. It was round-shaped and rolled into inwardly curving legs with pointed ends. Pod Duang was used as currency of Thailand for more than 700 years before it was replaced by modern coins. The display also shows a large collection of coins produced during Bangkok period. The highlight of which include “Royal Gift” coins which were minted from a small coin production machine sent to King Rama IV as a royal gift from Queen Victoria in 1857, gold and silver coins commemorating the 60th birthday anniversary of King Rama IV which are widely known as “Tae Meng”. Coins and commemorative medals of the present reign are also on display.
Temporary Exhibition is held to mark important occasions and events of the country and the royal family.