Enquiry about object: 9040

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    Set of Five Thai Gold & Diamond Jacket Buttons

    Bangkok, Thailand
    19th century

    width: 1.5cm, combined weight: 10g



    private collection

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This set of five buttons is of gold and each button is set with a large central diamond surrounded by nine smaller diamonds, all mine cut. The overall form of each button is that of a small flower.

    The reverse of each has a small loop to allow the button to be fixed to a jacket.

    A similar set of five is illustrated in Richter (2000, p. 95) who says that such buttons were worn in the 19th century ‘to fasten the velvet and brocade jackets worn by wealthy men’.

    Such decorative elements were made in Bangkok in the 19th century and were based on court jewellery. Indeed, many such pieces would have been made for minor royals of whom there were many on account of the extraordinary polygamy of the primary court. Mid-19th century Siamese court dress for ladies was elegant but simple which was perfect for the addition of complex, gem studded brooches, necklaces, and pendants. The buttons here would have complimented the jewellery worn by the women of the court.

    The Chakri Dynasty kings were very influenced by European fashions and this flowed through to dress and jewellery. The enormous prestige of the Chakri Dynasty saw these influences emulated by the rest of the upper echelons of Bangkok society.

    Gold buttons set with diamonds were worn by male nobles in nearby Malay courts too.

    The buttons are in excellent condition. They are stable and useable.


    Richter, A., The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000.

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