Viet Nam News
HUẾ — More than 60 precious artifacts of the Nguyễn dynasty (1802-1945) handed over to the interim government after the abdication of King Bảo Đại in August 1945 are on display at the Huế Royal Antiques Museum.
The artifacts, made of gold, silver, gemstones and tortoise shells, are part of a collection of 2,500 items preserved by the Việt Nam National History Museum.
The most valuable and important items include royal seals made of pure gold, jade seals, swords, the king’s headwear and mandarin badges.
The exhibition also displays objects used in royal worship and rituals, like candle holders, fruit trays, and aloe wood burner.
Other items used in royal office, including brushes, inkstone, paperweights and pen holders also are on display.
Visitors to the exhibition can also get glimpses of daily life in the court through other items like diner and tea sets, and betel nut sets.
Phan Thanh Hải, director of the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre, said the exhibition is being held under a co-operation programme between the centre and the National Museum of History.
The programme, which began last year, has organised two other exhibitions – Antique Jewelry of Việt Nam and The Royal Seals and Books of the Nguyễn Dynasty.
“However, this ongoing exhibition displays the biggest number of items, including some seals that were rarely seen even by royal mandarins. These seals are the ones that were handed down from emperor to emperor, representing the supreme power and orthodoxy of the dynasty,” Hải said.
After King Bảo Đại abdicated on August 25, 1945, the Nguyễn dynasty handed over to the then temporary Government of Việt Nam some 2,500 items which were brought to Hà Nội for preservation as the nation waged its resistance war against the return of the French colonialists.
In 2007, the State Bank of Việt Nam handed over all the items, including 85 golden and jade seals, to the Việt Nam National Museum of History.
The exhibition will be open to public until January 5, 2017, at 3 Lê Trực Street.
Alongside the exhibition, the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre has also released a photo-book Bảo Vật Hoàng Cung (Royal Treasure), and The Museum of Huế Royal Antiques – Volume 8: Wooden Objects. – VNS