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French house defers auction of 11-kg gold seal of Vietnamese king

By Hieu Nhan   October 31, 2022 | 05:50 am PT
French house defers auction of 11-kg gold seal of Vietnamese king
The imperial seal of King Minh Mang. Photo courtesy of Millon
French auction house Millon has deferred the auction of Nguyen Dynasty King Minh Mang's 11-kg gold seal to Nov. 11 following the Vietnamese government’s intervention.

The postponement from the original date of Oct. 31 was made at the commencement of the Vietnam Art Sales session at Millon in Paris at 5 p.m. (Hanoi time).

"Due to the strong interest of the Vietnamese State for lot 101 gold seal of Emperor Minh Mang, we postpone the sale of this piece to Thursday, November 10, 2022 at noon," the auction house stated on its website.

The rare and valuable imperial golden seal of Nguyen Dynasty's Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841) drew a lot of attention when it was put up for auction Monday (Paris time).

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism sent an official message to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Vietnamese Embassy and the Vietnamese Cultural Center in France, to meet with Millon regarding the item.

The Vietnamese side will conduct quick verification of a number of details regarding the item, including the previous owner, legality, expected selling price and check the possibility of negotiating a direct purchase without auction.

The team will propose the best plan for bringing the valuable artifact back to Vietnam based on the verification results.

According to the French auction house, the square seal is 10.4 centimeters high and weighs 10.78 kilograms.

Its handle is in the form of a coiled dragon and with a raised head. The character "Vuong", meaning king, is inscribed on its forehead.

Each of the dragon's four legs has five claws. Its scaly body is adorned with a bulging dorsal ridge and the head is covered with stag horns, exposing a lion's muzzle and teeth.

The phrase "Hoang De Chi Bao" (Treasure of The Emperor) appears on the imperial seal.

The auction house claims the seal was used exclusively for important documents during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Founded in 1928, the Paris-based Millon Auction House has offices in Nice (France), Brussels and many other European cities.

 
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