H.M. King Mongkut and Queen Debsirindra, 1856
Photo of King Mongkut and Queen Debsirindra, 1856 - Gift of King Rama IV, 1856

King Mongkut and Queen Debsirindra, 1856
Gift of King Mongkut, 1856
Harris Treaty Gifts
Department of Anthropology,
# E4003
Smithsonian Institution
National Anthropological Archives Inventory # 1735

This intimate portrait is unlike many others of the Thai Kings, who are usually shown seated on one of the thrones next to at least part of their regalia. By contrast, here King Mongkut is seen wearing a rather simple outer robe, and is bare-headed, seated next to his queen. Although he is holding a Royal Sword, part of the Royal Regalia, and wearing a gem-studded waist ornament and several rings, none of the other kingly regalia are visible. Presumably his queen is pictured because so many Western leaders had inquired about the status of the major queen among the inner palace of queens and consorts.

Queen Thepserin (Rambhery Bhamarabhiramy) was known as King Mongkut's "Queen Consort," having gone through the marriage ceremony with the King and having received the Queen’s title and privileges. She is shown here in the style of mid-nineteenth century Thai court dress, hair cut, artfully plucked eyebrows, wearing a Pra Pusa, the Royal equivalent of the traditional Thai skirt, pleated at the waist and held by a belt ornamented with gems. She was the mother of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, and three other royal children. She died as a result of childbirth in 1861.

Gallery 1

1a. Robert's Treaty, 1833

1b. Harris Treaty, 1856

1c. Status & Rank of the Presidents

Gallery 2

2a. H.M. King Chulongkorn's Gifts

2b. Centennial Exposition, 1876

2c. 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition

Gallery 3

3a. Institutional Gifts

3b. Recent Gifts to the US

3c. Thai Royal Gifts in Perspective

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