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Giant jars snapped up with high bid of $275,000

Update: May, 31/2016 - 09:00
Going once: A pair of Tứ Linh (Four Sacred Animals) jars by artisan Phạm Anh Đạo from the Bát Tràng pottery village was auctioned at US$275,000. -- VNS Photo Hoàng Minh
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A pair of Tứ Linh (Four Sacred Animals) jars by artisan Phạm Anh Đạo from the Bát Tràng pottery village have been auctioned off at a price of US$275,000.

The first professional art auction in Việt Nam took place on Saturday in Hà Nội gathering a variety of local and foreign artists, critics and art lovers.

The hand-made jars were produced in 2010 and given a starting price of VNĐ900 million ($40,300). Until now, Đạo was the first Bát Tràng artisan to successfully handcraft two jars, each weighing 500kg. They measured 2.7m in height and 1.3m in diameter, with cracked enamel styling as of ancient ceramics. Đạo spent more than a year making the jars by hand and took 70 hours to bake them.

Paintings entitled Hạnh Phúc (Happiness) by Hoàng Phượng Vỹ, Tiên Nữ Vùng Cao (Uplands Fairies) by Đào Hải Phong and Trên Dòng Sông Đỏ (Along the Red River) by Quách Đông Phương were auctioned at VNĐ65 million ($3,000), VNĐ95 million ($4,500) and VNĐ150 million ($7,500), respectively.

An altar from the late 19th century which had belonged to painter Lê Thiết Cương was sold for VND143 million ($7,000).

Trần Quốc Khánh, CEO of Lạc Việt Company, the organiser of the event, said this was the first professional auction in Việt Nam, held in line with current legal provisions.

“This kind of auction aims to honour the value of labour and the creativity of the authors as well as establishing a transparent market for domestic artworks,” he said.

“We guarantee the quality of the artworks, their origin and uniqueness. The transparent auction also prevents tax loss for the government.”

Before, artists often sold paintings at galleries. Sometimes, artworks were auctioned for charity purposes, so these auctions did not reflect the true value of the items.

Art critic Phan Cẩm Thượng said the art auction would help establish a transparent and popular art market in Việt Nam.

“Now you buy an artwork for its true value, not because you want to do charity work,” he said. “So, a professional art auction also protects the value of Vietnamese artworks in the international market.” — VNS


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