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Siam - Expo Paris 1889

Siam at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

The Exhibition of the Kingdom of Siam was made on the orders of His Majesty the King, who wanted his country to be represented at the Exhibition of 1889, as it had already been at the two Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878. All the costs of organising and installing the Siamese section were borne by the King, who was the only exhibitor.

The section occupies an area of 250 square metres in the end gallery, on the Rue du Caire side, between Japan and Egypt. It also occupies a pavilion in the extension of Cairo Street, near the fire station, which covers an area of 100 metres. There is no exhibition in this pavilion, which is more like a type of Siamese architecture. It is a small building with four stoops arranged at right angles and a double roof with steep slopes. It is made of beautifully carved wood.

The facade of the gallery of various industries is a specimen of composite order in which various details of ornamentation borrowed from the palaces and temples of Bangkok have been brought together.

The King has brought together here, somewhat haphazardly, all the industries of his kingdom; royal garments, men's and women's clothes, brightly coloured silk panungs embroidered with flowers, gold and silver, copper utensils, palanquins, secular and sacred musical instruments, elephant tusks, harnesses, preserved flowers, kawmak (fermented rice), etc. All these products introduce us to the history of the kingdom.

All these products introduce us to unknown customs and to a marvellous art; but they remind us above all of the concern the King of Siam has always had to be represented at the great solemnities to which France invites all sympathies and all intelligences.

© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889