Howard A. Daniel III submitted this review of a new book on Siamese Coins. Thanks!
My current schedule is very tight for my last few days in the USA before I depart for almost five months in Viet Nam on October 3 but I somehow found time to read the entire newest book in my library, Siamese Coins, From Funan to the Fifth Reign. So here is some information about it that I can pass on to our readers.
It was authored by Ronachai Krisadaolarn and Vasilijs Mihailovs and published by River Books in Bangkok, Thailand (at 396 Maharaj Road, Tatien, Bangkok 10200 Thailand) just a couple of months ago. The ISBN is 978-9749866354-1 and it has 272 pages with 2,103 illustrations plus a DVD with 1,000 more illustrations.
The book describes and illustrates some non-precious metal and gold coins but the overwhelming majority are silver coins from pre-Siam issuers, where the present country of Thailand is located, and it also has pieces from Siam's neighbors and some other countries. The Siamese pieces start with the first issues of the first Thai kingdoms and princedoms to the modern flat coins of the early 1900s.
It is not a catalogue. It is an in-depth study of the origins of the coins and the scientific data about each piece using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Flourescence (ED-XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) tests. The reader will learn about the most minute details about every Siamese piece and it is an absolute must for anyone involved in authenticating and grading Siamese numismatic pieces, and anyone who wants to be a serious collector who can tell the difference between many of the authentic and counterfeit pieces available on the marketplace. The illustrations are among the best of numismatic pieces known to me, and there are also detail drawings to make the most intricate designs absolutely clear to the reader.
The very high quality paper for the pages; excellent material for the hard cover; and the high quality color slipcase sets a new standard for numismatic books. Then the oversized metal replica of Siam's first flat coin imbedded in the cover is something I have never seen in any other numismatic book. I am expecting to see this replica on the market in the future as a "new" Thai discovery piece! The slipcase is excellent protection but I have already placed many fingerprints on the black hard cover. All of the books in my library are for use, but for those buying it for display, wear gloves when holding at it.
Everyone must know that I have known Ronachai for several decades, and Vasilijs in the recent past. I have seen the draft text over many years of visits to Ronachai's offices, and have actually held or seen many of the pieces in the book's illustrations from his collection. I used to be a very active collector of everything in Thai numismatics but I recently sold it because I need to concentrate more on Cambodia and Laos. This book is a fabulous piece of work, no matter who produced it, and I have no problem highly recommending it, even if you are not interested in Siamese/Thai numismatics.
You can order the book though the publisher's website at www.riverbooksbk.com, but I ordered mine through Vitoon Eurtivong, the owner of Eur-Seree Collecting Co. Ltd., 1256/8 Nakhon Chai Sri Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300 Thailand to have a copy speedily sent to me. His website is at www.Eurseree.com and you should also sign up for his auctions which have excellent Thai, SE Asian and other world numismatic and antique pieces in them.
Another excellent source of Thai and SE Asian numismatic pieces is Lee Kim Guan at 33 Charoenbrung Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand. Contact Kris Sukonritikorn at email@example.com and he can assist you to collect Thai numismatic pieces, and it likely has this book too. Asia Books (www.asiabooks.com) and Kinokuniya bookstores (www.kinokuniya.com) in Bangkok are also sources for this and related books.
In the United States, my primary source for SE Asian numismatic books is Scott Semans at www.coincoin.com. He might also have some Thai pieces in his inventory. A second source in the United States is Amazon Books at www.Amazon.com, but they list it only for your Wish List and will likely have copies within a few weeks. I am sure there are sources in Europe but I do not yet know them. I have seen prices at about 50 English Pounds, about US$75, AU$155, 75 Euro, and 2000-2500 Baht. None of these prices include shipping. Hurry and order a copy for your library.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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