Culture Culture

19/08/2017 - 16:51

Great collections of antiques will be available at Hue Festival 2018

More than 30 Noi Phu – Khanh Xuan porcelain pieces of all kinds, sizes, decoration themes, and marks, owned by three young Ha Noi collectors, are excellent representatives for the ordered porcelain of the Le – Trinh time.

The ordered porcelains of the Le - Trinh era of collector Nguyen Cong Tuan

1. The name “ordered porcelain” is used to describe porcelains made in Chinese kilns under the "order" of the Vietnamese courts during the period from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century, which is divided into 4 lines: ordered porcelain of theLe – Trinh time, the Nguyen Lords time, theTay Son period and the Nguyen Dynasty. Among them, the Le Trinh ordered porcelains were the earliest line of ordered porcelains, ordered by the LeKings and Trinh Lordsin the Đàng Ngoài (the North) in the 17th century, and are the most popular antiques hunted by collectors and the most expensive onthe antiques market in Vietnam.

The ordered porcelains during the Le - Trinh period include two groups: Noi Phu (Inner Cabinet) and Khanh Xuan. The Inner Cabinet group with the marks: Central Inner Cabinet, Right Inner Cabinet, East Inner Cabinet, South Inner Cabinet, West Inner Cabinet and North Inner Cabinet. Khanh Xuan has 2 marks: Khanh Xuan and Left Khanh Xuan. The Khanh Xuanordered porcelains have a higher artistic value, are rarer and more expensive than the Noi Phu (Inner Cabinet) porcelains. Each perfect Khanh Xuandish, about 15 cm in diameter, is currently priced at 500 million VND. The dishes with a diameter of 18 cm or more are much higher in value.

However, having money is not enough to buy Noi Phu – Khanh Xuan porcelains. Among antique collectors in Vietnam today,it is not rare to find rich collectors who are willing to spend billions to own the ordered porcelain masterpieces in the Le - Trinh era. Meanwhile, the Noi Phu - Khanh Xuan ordered porcelains have been disappearing because of after over 300 years, these porcelain pieces have been lost for various reasons. That is also the reason for the appearance of fake Noi Phu – Khanh Xuan ordered porcelain pieces, not only now but from the end of the Nguyen Dynasty. This has manipulated the antique market. Many people who only had passion and money butlackedknowledge of the ordered porcelains of the Le - Trinh period had to pay “high tuition fees” for the replica porcelain items.

2. Before, it seemed that only skilled collectors who had enough bravery and money could collect Noi Phu – Khanh Xuan ordered porcelains. After nearly 30 years researching ordered porcelains, I now know some of the “master collectors” in Ho Chi Minh city, Hue, Hanoi; they are the "owners" of the collections of the distinguished Le – Trinh era ordered porcelains.

The ordered porcelains of the Le - Trinh era of collector Ngo Van Truong

Last month, I posted on Facebook, asking the collectors of ordered porcelains to provide me with images of the rare and special objects that they have acquired to use in the book Ordered Porcelains of Nguyen Dynasty that I am going to republish. Only after 10 days, many antique collectors in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hue, and Hai Phong have contacted and said that they were willing to provide the imagesfor my use. Among them, there are three young collectors from Hanoi: Nguyen Cong Tuan, Ngo Van Truong and Cao Cuong. To satisfy their elegant but expensive passion, they have spent a lot of money, effort and wisdom hunting downreal Noi Phu – Khanh Xuan porcelain items, which used to be the treasures of collectors in the country and abroad.

More than 30 Noi Phu – Khanh Xuanporcelain pieces of all kinds, sizes, decoration themes, and marks, owned by three young Ha Noi collectors, are excellent representatives for the ordered porcelain of the Le – Trinh time.If Cao Cuong devotes all his passion to Noi Phupainted "lotus - crab" ordered porcelains, Nguyen Cong Tuan isdetermined to find expensive items painted with "dragon - unicorn - phoenix";meanwhile Ngo Van Truong pursues the line of Inner Cabinet... with all the marks: Middle, West, South, East, West. They are different from each other, but all the same in one point: they are passionateabout the ordered porcelains of the Le - Trinh period.

3. I used to work at the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities, which owns more than 2,000 pieces of ordered porcelains of many Vietnamese dynasties. But most of the ordered porcelains in the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquitiesare the ordered porcelainsduring the Nguyen period. There are only a few dozen ordered porcelainsof other periods, amongst which, the ordered porcelainsof the Le – Trinh area only include around 10 items. Therefore, the museum's display panel is completely absent of the ordered porcelains of the Le – Trinh time. I once suggested to collectors in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hue who own the ordered porcelainsof Le - Trinh periodto organize a special exhibition of the ordered porcelains of Le - Trinh period in cooperation with the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities. But since the ordered porcelainsof Le Trinh time are too valuable, the collectors were reluctant to lend, move and display the objects for a long time. Therefore, my personal wish and the wish of HueMuseum of Royal Antiquities had not been fulfilled. This time, when talking with the 3 young collectors in Ha Noi, I conveyed to them our wish, and the three of them agreed to let me bring their treasures to Hue for display.

The collector Nguyen Cong Tuan (on the far left), Cao Cuong (second from the left)

From Hanoi, I contacted Huynh Thi Anh Van, Ph.D., Director of Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities,and requested to coordinate the implementation of a special exhibition on all kinds of ordered porcelains in the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquitiesduring Hue Festival 2018. Within the exhibition, the ordered porcelains of the Nguyen Dynasty owned by the museum and the ordered porcelains of Le Trinh time owned by the three young collectors in Hanoi will be highlights. Huynh Thi Anh Van was very enthusiastic with the above proposal and promised to allocate a suitable space to display the two lines of ordered porcelains of the two golden periods in the Vietnamese history in the upcoming Hue Festival. Hopefully, this will soon come true and the antique lovers in Hue, as well as domestic and foreign visitors who visit Hue Imperial City during the Hue Festival 2018 will have the opportunity to contemplate the essence of these ordered porcelains, which are being appreciated and preserved by the young generations.

Tran Duc Anh Son

 

 

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