40. Thai porcelain tokens (“pee”)

Thai porcelain tokens (pee) are found in many collections, often just one or two pieces, and sometimes more. These are known by various terms, including the following (for more, see the bibliography below):

  • English: Siamese porcelain gambling tokens
  • Chinese: 暹罗陶瓷代币 Xuanluo taoci daibi 
  • German: Siamesische Porzellantoken (Spielhaustoken)
  • French: Siam-Chine – monnaie en porcelaine

Pieces in the British Museum collection

Large collections in Europe


The following list is collated from the catalogues of the Kõhler-Osbahr Collection and the Museum of Ethnography, Leiden (I haven’t checked any of these titles, and assume they are accurate):

  • [-], “Ancient money in various parts of Thailand”, Thai Coin and News Information 3 (March-May 1986).
  • Althoff, Ralf, Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr, Band II/3. Vormünzliche Zahlungsmittel und Aussergewöhnliche. Geldformen: Siamesische Porzellantoken. Duisburg 1995.
  • Bowring, J., “Coins of Siam”, Canadian Antiquarian Numismatic Journal, vol.1, no.1 (july 1872), p.39.
  • Brand, H., “Siam Porcelain Tokens”, Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, vol.27, no.10 (Oct 1961), pp.2582-2586.
  • Brudin, J.A., “The Porcelain Coins of Siam”, Numismatist vol.8, no.4 (April 1895).
  • Brummelhuis, Hans ten, Merchant, Courtier and Diplomat: A History of the Contacts between the Netherlands and Thailand. De Tijdstroom, Lochem/Gent 1987.
  • Campos, J. de, “The Origin of the Tical”, The Siam Society Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Publication, vol.ll, Bangkok 1954, pp. 95-111.
  • Cartwright, B.G., “The Huey Lottery”, in The Siam Society Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Publication, vol.l, Bangkok 1954, pp.131-149.
  • Caseria, J. “Cowery shells in early China”, International Far Eastern Numismatic News (IFEN), vol.1 (Aug 1989), pp.71-75.
  • Chalerm Boonyongkird, Pee tokens of the Hongs, Bangkok, 1971.
  • Charnvit Kasetsiri, The Rise of Ayudhya, A History of Siam in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, East Asian Historic Monographs, Oxford University Press, Oxford etc., 1976.
  • Charnvit Kasetsiri, Charuk nai Prathet Thai (= Corpus of Inscriptions in Thailand), vol. 1, National Library of Thailand, Bangkok B.E. 2529 (AD 1986).
  • Charnvit Kasetsiri, Chavalit Angwitthayathorn, Ngoen Tra Namo (= Namo Coins), Muang Boran Publications, Bangkok B.E. 2538 (=AD 1995).
  • Chévillard, L’Abbé Similien, Siam et les Siamois, Paris 1889.
  • Christie, J. W., A Preliminary Survey of Early Javanese Coinage Held in Javanese Collections, Kundika Publication, Museum Nasional Coop., Jakarta, n.d.
  • Coedes, G., The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, East-West Centre Press, Honolulu 1968.
  • [-] Coins in Thailand, Department of Fine Arts, Bangkok, 1973.
  • Cruson, D.J., “Porcelain pieces of Siam”, World Coins vol.12, no.12 (Dec 1975), pp.24-25, 30-32, 36.
  • Damrong Rajanubhab, H.R.H. Prince, “Ruang Ang Yi” (The story of Ang-Yi), in Nithan Borankhadi (Archaeological Tales), Bangkok, B.E. 2511 (AD 1968), pp.153-178.
  • Donnelly, P.J., Blanc de Chine, The porcelain of Tehua in Fukien, London 1969.
  • Dyer Ball, J., Things Chinese, or Notes connected with China, 4th ed., John Murray, London, 1904.
  • Eglitt, N., World Coins, Sep 1964, pp.652-653.
  • Einzig, P., Primitive Money in Its Ehnological, Historical and Economic Aspects, London, 1948 (reprinted 1951).
  • Feddersen, M., Chinesisches Kunstgewerbe, Braunschweigh, 1958.
  • [-] Das Fenster in der Halle der Kreissparkasse Koln. Thema 120 (July 1984) – “Geld aus dem Reiche des Weissen Elefanten”.
  • Fichter, F., “Chinesisches Porzellan – Technik und kunstlerische Gestaltung”, aus Berichte der Deutschen Keramischen Gesellschaft e.V. Nr.3, 1951, pp.101-118.
  • Flensborg, P., “Siamese Porcelain Tokens”, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 140, Llanfyllin 1994.
  • Gühler, U., “Further Studies on Old Thai Coins”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens, London 1977, Part 11, pp. 29-69.
  • Gühler, U., “Some Investigations on the Evolution of the Pre-Bangkok Coinage”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens, London 1977, Part II, pp. 70-89.
  • Gühler, U., “Notes on Old Siamese Coins”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens, London 1977, Part 11, pp. 90-123.
  • Gühler, U., “Essay on the Symbols and Marks of Old Siamese Coins”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens, London, 1977, Part 11, pp. 124-148.
  • Gutman, P., “The Ancient Coinage of Southeast Asia”. Journal of the Siam Society, vol.66, pt.1 , pp.8-21.
  • Haas, Joseph, Siamese Coinage, Shanghai 1879 (see also Numismatic International Bulletin, Dallas, TX, vol.9, no.5 (May 1975), pp.122-142)
  • Hamel, P.S., “Correspondence with the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences” in Notulen van de algemene en bestuurs vergaderingen van hen Bataviaasch Genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen, vol.XXIV (1886) and XXV (1887).
  • Harding Kneedler, W., “The Coins of North Siam”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens, Siam Society, London, 1977, Part II, pp. 3-28.
  • Harper, H., World Coins, Feb 1975, p.142.
  • Hasumann, L. and Kriss-Rettenbeck, L., Amulett und Talisman, Erscheinungsform und Geschichte, München, 1977.
  • Harvey, G. E., History of Burma, From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824, The Beginnings of the English Conquest, 2nd ed., Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., London 1967.
  • Hofrichter, H.P., Siamesische Token, Hamburg 1977 (self-published)
  • Hofrichter, H.P., Kauris Kulturgeschichte, Henstedt-Ulzburg, 1991 (self-published)
  • Hofrichter, H.P., “Kauri-Kulturgeschichte”, Festschrift zum 35jährigen Bestehen der Hanseatischen Münzengilde e.V., Hamburg, 1994.
  • Hollink, G., ‘Porcelain Chinese-Siamese Pee Tokens. “Ramsden and the 1/16 of a song-pei”. An essay to rectify the wrong conclusions of Ramsden after 75 years – part 1’, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 110, Wolverhampton 1988.
  • Hollink, G., ‘Porcelain Chinese-Siamese Pee Tokens. “Ramsden and the 1/16 of a song-pei”. An essay to rectify the wrong conclusions of Ramsden after 75 years – part 2’, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 111, Wolverhampton 1988.
  • Hollink, G., “An Introduction to Chinese-Siamese Pee Coins”, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 117, Wolverhampton 1989.
  • Hollink, G., “The Chinese-Siamese porcelain pee-coins I’, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 120, Wolverhampton 1989.
  • Hollink, G., ‘The Chinese-Siamese porcelain pee-coins II”, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 121, Wolverhampton 1989.
  • Hollink, G., “The Chinese-Siamese Pee Coins: How the Gambling Tokens became Coins”, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 131, Llanfyllin 1991-1992.
  • Hollink, G., “The Chinese-Siamese Pee Coins, used as currency”, in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter 135, Llanfyllin 1993.
  • Hollink, G., “The Chinese-Siamese Pees. Gambling Counters used as Currency. References to Literature” (Mitchiner, M., Oriental Coins and Their Values, vol. 3).
  • Kainz, C., “Ostasiatische Porzellanmünzen”, Berliner Münzblätter 178-180 (1895), 177 (1850-54), 178 (1857-70), 179 (1880-83), 180 (1892-95).
  • Khaisang Sukhavadhana, The Chinese-Influenced Thai Buddhist Monasteries of the Early Rattanakosin Period, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 1982.
  • Klein, A., “Zur Erfindung des Hartporzellans”, Berichte der Deutschen Keramischen Gesellschaft e.V. no.1 (1959), pp.1-6.
  • Krause, C.L. and C. Mishier, Standard Catalogue of World Coins, KP Publications, Wisconsin, 1979.
  • Langridge, P.A., “Siamese Porcelain Tokens”, Coin Monthly, Aug 1976, pp. 55, 57-58.
  • R. LeMay, “The Coinage of Siam”, in Siamese Coins and Tokens. An Anthology by Le May, Ramsden, Guehler and Harding Kneedier, Siam Society, London 1977, Part I, pp.1-179.
  • Lehnhäuser, W., Glasuren und ihre Farben, 1973.
  • Mathews, R.H., Mathews’ Chinese-English Dictionary, Shanghai, 1943.
  • McFarland, G.B., Thai- English Dictionary, Fifth Printing, Stanford University Press, California, 1969.
  • Mitchiner, M., Oriental Coins and their Values. Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies, AD 600. 1979, pp.379-382.
  • Monatsblatt der numismatischen Gesellschaft in Wien, Sept 1896: “Verschiedenes” (Zum ungewöhnlichen Tode von Joseph Haas).
  • Nathaphat Nawikacheewin, “Ee-pae Thai samai Ratchakarn thi Si” (= Thai ee-pae of the Fourth Reign, in Silpakorn Journal, vol.21, no.1, May 1977, pp.100-103.
  • Oliver, T., Twenty Centuries of Coins, Thailand’s Currency through the Ages, Allied Printers Ltd., Bangkok, 1978.
  • Oliver, T., “Token of the Past”, Sawasdee Magazine, Bangkok, Nov-Dec 1981.
  • Oliver, T., “Gambling Tokens. Pictures of the Past.” Sunday Leisure (extra), Bangkok, Sunday 14 Mar 1982, section II.
  • Opitz, Ch.J., Odd and Curious Money, Ocala, 1991.
  • Opitz, C.J., An Ethnographic Study of Traditional Money, Ocala, Florida 2000.
  • Petit, K., Les jetons de porcelaine du Siam, Mons 1980 (French translation of Ramsden’s work)
  • Phillips, Jr., H., “Porcelain Money of Siam”, The Museum, Aug 1885.
  • Phraputtharup lae Phraphim nai kru Phraprang Wat Ratburana (= Buddha Images and Votive Tablets from the Crypt of the Prang of Wat Ratburana), Fine Arts Department, Bangkok 1959.
  • Pinn, F. “Cowrie Money in China”, International Far Eastern Numismatic News 12, pp.32-40.
  • Piromya, S., Coins in Thailand, Bangkok, 1973, pp.74-75.
  • Pittoors, V., “Siamese Porceleinen Tokens”, Alliance Numismatique Européene, Belgium, 1956, pp.17-20.
  • Potchananukrom chabab rajabanditayasathan (= Dictionary (of Thai words) compiled by the Royal Academy of Learning), BE 2473 (AD 1958) version, 5th edition, Bangkok BE 2503 (= AD 1960)
  • Purcell, V., The Chinese in Southeast Asia, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, London etc., 1965.
  • Ramsden, H.A., Siamese porcelain and other tokens. Yokohama 1911 (reprinted in Siamese Coins and Tokens, Siam Society. D.J. Mackay, Chatham, England, 1977, pp.329-389)
  • Rogers, M.E., “Porcelain Coins”, China Review, March 1882.
  • Rong Syamananda, A History of Thailand, 3rd ed., Chulalongkorn University / Thai Watana Panich Co. Ltd., Bangkok 1977.
  • Sadab Thirabutr, Ngoen Pot-duang (Pot-duang Coins), Department of Currency, Ministry of Finance, Bangkok, n.d.
  • Saran Singh, The Encyclopaedia of The Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, 1400-1967, Kuala Lumpur 1996.
  • Der Schäkel, Het Oosten Was Meissen Eeuwen Voor, Jan 1954.
  • Scheuch, K., Siamesische Porzellan-Tokens (Vortragsarchiv der Ges. f. Internationale Geldgeschichte, c. 1965) (5 pages)
  • Schlegel, Gustaaf, “Siamesische und Chinesisch-Siamesische Münzen”, inInternationales Archiv für Ethnographie. Bd II, Leiden c. 1890, pp. 241-254, pl. XVI.  https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3739591/f15.image (pdf-downloadable) 
  • Skinner, G. W., Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1957.
  • Schlösser, R., “Das Münzwesen Chinas”, Mitteilungen für Münzsammler, Jg.5 (1928), p.196.
  • Schlösser, R., “Chinesisch-Siamesische Porzellan-münzen”, Artibus Asiae, Bd VI (1936-37), pp.265-271.
  • Schröter, E.M., Im Reiche des Weissen Elefanten, Leipzig, 1885.
  • Schulman, J., Catalogus van de Bersoë-collectie, Veilungscatalogus, Amsterdam, 1903.
  • Shaw, W. and Ali Mohd, K.H., Coins of North Malaya. Kuala Lumpur, 1971, pp. 43-44.
  • Siedle, E., “Technik des Porzellans”, Die Werkkunst 4, Jg 1908/09, pp.25-28.
  • Spalding, W.F., Far Eastern Exchange. Currency and Finance. London, 1918.
  • Spinks, C.N., The Ceramic Wares of Siam, The Siam Society, 3rd ed., Bangkok 1978.
    Thai Money, Publication of the National Bank of Thailand, Bangkok, n.d. (c. 1990).
  • Thompson, D. “Thai Gambling Tokens Circulated Widely”, World Coin News, vol.18 (8 July 1991), pp.40-41.
  • Viehweger, F., Rezeptbuch für Glasuren und Farben, 1965.
  • Villefaigne, J.G. de, Manual pratique du change des monnais étrangeres, Paris, 1930.
  • Vliet, J. A van, A Short History of the Kings of Siam, translated by L. Andaya, Siam Society, Bangkok 1975.
  • Weyl, A., Verzeichnis der Münzen und Denkmünzen der Jules Fonrobertschen Sammlung, Berlin, 1878 (reprint, Unidruck, München, 1962).
  • Wheatley, P., Description of the Kingdom of Siam, The Golden Khersonese, University of Malaya Press, 1961.
  • Whitesitt, R., “The Gambling Tokens of Siam”, Numismatic International Bulletin, vol.9, no.6 (Jun 1975), pp.172-174.
  • Williams, C.A.S., Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives, 3rd ed., Shanghai 1941 (1976 reprint by Dover Publications, New York)
  • Winckel, C.P.K., “The coins of Siam”, The Coin Collectors Journal, New York, Jan-Mar, 1881.
  • Wood, W.A.R., Consul in Paradise (Sixty-nine Years in Siam), Trasvin edition, Bangkok, 1991.
  • Yongboonkird, Ch., “Pee tokens of the gambling farms”, Bangkok, 1971. (in Thai. A German translation was made by the Goethe Institut, Bangkok)
  • Young, E., The Kingdom of the Yellow Robe, 1st ed., London 1898.
  • Zimmermann, E., Chinesisches Porzellan, Bd I, Leipzig, 1923.

UPDATE 14 Feb 2018 – Many thanks to François Thierry for supplying a list of the porcelain tokens in the collection of the Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

UPDATE 13 Mar 2018 – Many thanks to Christian Hamöller, in Germany, for suppling the following information:

  1. “Siamesische Porzellantoken. Vom Spielgeld
    zum KleingeldArticle” in Münzenwoche -226 News
  2. Photographs of the opening of the exhibition including porcelain tokens at the  Kultur- und Stadthistorischen Museum Duisburg – 2012EröffnungSIAMTOKEN
  3. Malaysian blog link with hundreds of images and more:  http://dniewcollectors.blogspot.de/2014/05/malaysia-monetary-tokens-clay-gaming.html
  4. Here are the original links to my online space: //  http://www.vivacoins.com/images/siamcollection1/index.htm  //  http://www.vivacoins.com/images/siamcollection2/index.htm  //  http://www.vivacoins.com/images/siamcollection3/index.htm
  5. Another good online collection is from Mr. David Chua, Singapore

UPDATE 12 Sept 2018 – Many thanks to Vladimir Belyaev for asking me about G. Hollink,  Siamese Pee Coins – Description of the Collection of the British Museum, London, Lelystad, self-published, 1988. There’s a copy in the Dept of Coins and Medals at the BM.

UPDATE 11 March 2020 – An uncatalogued collection of 364 pieces at the Musée royal de Mariemont, near Morlanwelz in Belgium. Many thanks to Lyce Jankowski for this news!



  1. Is it known when was written next paper?
    Paul L.F. van Dongen (in collaboration with Nandana Chutiwongs, translated by Enid Perlin): Playthings in Porcelain: Siamese Pee in the National Museum of Ethnography (Leiden, n.d.).

    It is undated, but may be somebody know approximate year.

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