Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Created 02 July 2022
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A jade bowl and other antiques belonging to Queen Nam Phuong, wife of Vietnam's last king, fetched high prices at a recent auction in France.
Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

The auction by Drouot in mid-June saw more than 150 pieces go under the hammer including cups, bowls, paintings, and other items collected by Nam Phuong.
A jade bowl owned by Tu Duc, the fourth king of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, fetched the highest price of EUR845,000 (US$892,000). The bowl is 14.5 cm across and 6.2 cm tall, and has a gold rim. Engraved on it in relief are two dragons flying among clouds in search of holy jade, and the outer bottom has an engraving of the seal of King Tu Duc, who ruled from 1848 to 1883.
Queen Nam Phuong, real name Nguyen Huu Thi Lan, was from Tien Giang Province near HCMC. She became queen of the Nguyen Dynasty in 1934 after marrying King Bao Dai (1926-1945), the last imperial ruler of Vietnam. She had five children. Besides raising them, she was also in charge of royal banquets and participated in a number of social and charity activities. In 1947 she moved with her children to France and lived there for the rest of her life.

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

An inkwell used by King Khai Dinh (1916-1925) from An Dinh Palace in the central Hue Town received the second highest bid of EUR286,000.
According to the description on the auction house's website, the white jade ink holder is in the shape of water lilies. The lid is carved with the words "treasure of imperial scholars." The ink container is placed on a base carved with lotus patterns.

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

A pair of animal-shaped jade boxes with inlaid eyes were sold for EUR221,000. According to the auction house, they are from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Two cups of blue enamel tea cups went under the hammer for EUR104,000.
The ‘willow pattern,’ a blue and white transfer-printed pattern used on ceramic kitchen ware and houseware, depicts two five-clawed dragons looking for pearls in the clouds.
According to the auction house, the artifact dates back to the reign of King Thieu Tri (1840-1847).

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Six porcelain bowls decorated with blue dragon shapes.
At the bottom of the bowl outside are printed the words “Thieu Tri Nien Tao.”
Thieu Tri (1807-1847) was the third king of the Nguyen Dynasty. The antique was bought by a collector for EUR91,000.

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Two round porcelain bowls decorated with blue glaze and five-clawed dragons, clouds and classic motifs. The bottom has the word ‘Sun.’
Drouot said kitchenware with the word ‘Sun’ were often used in the royal palace during the reign of King Minh Mang (1791-1841). The two bowls went for EUR78,000.

Vietnam's last queen’s ceramics auctioned in France

Besides antiques, a number of artworks were also auctioned.
A 78x99 cm painting depicting a scene from an Indochinese market was sold for EUR88,400. The work originated from the Indochina College of Fine Arts in the 1930s-1940s.
Drouot, founded in 1852, is one of the major auction houses in Paris and specializes in fine art and antiques.


Source: VNE

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