Royal Display of Jewellery. 393
a great number of jewellers and silversmiths. There were some lovely gold boxes, enamelled and inlaid with precious gems, the kingas initials, the royal arms, and c.; heavy gold chains, bangles, gold and silver goblets, a great variety of gold and silver betel-boxes and spittoons, cigar-cases, and other articles, such as are from time to time given away as marks of the sovereignas favour.
Prominent among this array was a large glass case, in the centre of the room, containing a raised stand, in four tiers, the whole of which, from top to bottom, glittered with gems, mounted and unmounted, some of large sizeaespecially diamonds and rubiesaset in snuff-boxes, bracelets, vases, and rings, of all shapes and sizes. It was said that there were no less than 10,000 finger-rings, some of which were of huge size, and that the contents of the whole case were worth a million sterling.
In the room adjoining a great assortment of silver dishes, bowls, cups, and goblets were exhibited.
The manufacture of gold and silver jewellery, which is carried on to a large extent in Bangkok, is entirely in the hands of the Chinese. I have been into many workshops, and seen the workmen chiselling and hammering away at the repousse work, melting the precious metals, gilding the silver-ware, but failed to find a single Siamese workman; they were all Chinese: and I was informed that of the numerous goldsmiths employed by his Majesty and the princesaall of whom have one or more gold and silversmiths always at workanot one was a Siamese. The natives, besides being unskilled in this branch of industry, lack the habits of industry and perseverance which are so characteristic of the Chinese.
The work is always done to order. There are noThe work is always done to order. There are no