The audience of the ambassadors of Siam (present-day Thailand) in Versailles on the 1ster September 1686 is one of the most sumptuous episodes of the reign of Louis XIV, and gives the measure of the intense diplomatic activity that was exercised at the Palace of Versailles in the XVIIe century. The pourer offered to Louis XIV by the three ambassadors of Siam in the name of their king Phra Narai, is the only present of goldsmith known to this day among the many gifts offered on this occasion. This rare and delicate silver pourer, embellished with gold on the relief motifs of flowers (peonies, lotus…), birds, butterflies and pagodas, was made in China around 1680-1685 and has a handle and a long beak that simulate wood and bamboo. This is one of the rare pieces of silverware from the collections of Louis XIV not to have been melted, which testifies both to the sometimes complex journey of the works of the royal collections of the time and to the evolutions of the history of taste.
The refusal of the export certificate issued by the Minister of Culture in July 2016 after a favourable opinion of the Advisory Committee on National Treasures, has conferred on this pourer the status of National Treasury, and thus made it possible to solicit the contribution of an undertaking to the financing of its acquisition, through the use of the tax system of Article 238 bis-0 A of the General Tax Code. Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, thanks the LVMH Group for its action of patronage which made possible the entry to the Palace of Versailles of one of the jewels of the reign of Louis XIV, and thus contributes to the enrichment of national public collections and our heritage.
Now restored and restored to its original beauty, the pourer will be presented to the public in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles from 15 September 2018, on the occasion of the European Heritage Days, at the very place where it was offered as a diplomatic gift to Louis XIV.