The Siamese Collection in Denmark celebrates strong Thai – Danish historical ties 

The Siamese Collection can be seen at Museum Østjylland in the city of Ebeltoft. 𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠: 𝑀𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑢𝑚 Ø𝑠𝑡𝑗𝑦𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑

In a recent update, the Embassy of Denmark in Bangkok highlights yet another place that represents strong historical ties between Thailand and Denmark.

As part of their “Did you know” campaign, the embassy writes:

Did you know that there is a museum in Denmark, which celebrates the strong historical ties between Denmark and Thailand?

The Siamese Collection (Den Siamesiske Samling) at Museum Østjylland in Denmark was created by Dane Rasmus Havmøller and his Siamese wife Nang Boon Sri.

In 1914, Havmøller went to Siam to work for The East Asiatic Company and he lived there until 1933. After returning to Denmark he started his Siamese museum and in addition, he built a house for his wife called “Lille Siam” (Little Siam).

Havmøller’s exhibition shows a unique collection of animals, ethnographic objects, photos, and much more, which he and his wife collected in Siam. After Havmøller’s return to Denmark, he was badly affected by malaria and could not fully work. Therefore, he made money by lecturing about his time in Siam and from the ticket revenue from his collection.

Today, the Siamese Collection continues to stand as a great testimony to Havmøller’s life, the strong Danish influence in Siam in the early 20th century, and the strong historical bonds between Denmark and Thailand.

Rasmus Havmøller. 𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠: 𝑀𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑢𝑚 Ø𝑠𝑡𝑗𝑦𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑
Rasmus Havmøller’s wife Nan Boon Sri on their house boat. 𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠: 𝑀𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑢𝑚 Ø𝑠𝑡𝑗𝑦𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑
Havmøller captured a large number of photos of everyday life in Bangkok at the time.  𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠: 𝑀𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑢𝑚 Ø𝑠𝑡𝑗𝑦𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

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