A collector in Bac Ninh Province has spent 6.1 million euros ($6.51 million) to buy a Nguyen Dynasty imperial gold seal from French auction house Millon.
A representative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that Nguyen The Hong, a private collector in Bac Ninh Province, had negotiated to purchase the gold seal and bring it back to Vietnam, under the auspices of the government.
The contract to purchase the seal was signed with Millon on Monday in France. At the moment, the authorities are processing the procedures to get the seal home and it’s expected to complete in late April.
In November last year, Vietnam announced that the negotiation to bring the seal back had been successful “in the spirit of consensus and understanding between the two sides and the friendly cooperation relationship between Vietnam and France.”
Millon initially put the seal, which belongs to King Minh Mang (1791-1841) of the Nguyen dynasty, up for auction for 2-3 million euros.
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 with a raised head. The character “Vuong,” meaning king, is inscribed on its forehead. Each of the dragon’s four legs has five claw teeth.
The phrase “Hoang De Chi Bao” (Treasure of The Emperor) appears on the imperial seal.
Vietnam’s Department of Cultural Heritage has confirmed that the seal is authentic.
The piece was the Nguyen Dynasty’s largest, most beautiful, and most valuable gold seal, according to the department.
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