Behind Vietnam’s largest antique lamp collection


Updated : 06/25/2013 12:15 GMT + 7

An exhibition featuring a collection of antique lamps, considered Vietnam’s largest and most diverse so far, was recently held at the Dien Ban district museum during the 2013 Quang Nam Festival, which concludes tomorrow, June 26.


The unique collection was first exhibited on June 17 on the inauguration of the museum after restoration.

The almost 500-item collection comes in a wide variety of materials, including glass, terra cotta and pottery, shapes, colors, patterns, decoration styles, ages and purposes.

Some of the unique items include the Renaissance colored glass lamps, with its base dexterously decorated with brass statuettes of Greek gods along with an intricate flower-patterned glass lampshade.

Some, shaped as owls, elephants and boast intricate decorations, were used during sea voyages, train trips, as well as home decorative items.

Le Cong Anh Duc, the owner of the collection, passed away in a road accident in 2002 at the age of 32.

According to Le Cong Chiem, Duc’s father, a war veteran, Duc developed his passion for collecting antique stamps and money as early as he turned 6 years old. The young man soon turned his attention to ancient lamps in 1990, when he and his family moved to Ho Chi Minh City.

Soon, he found himself travelling throughout the country and abroad during his business trips to buy the precious antique lamps.

Determined to realize his late son’s dream of founding a private museum to display his treasured antiques, Chiem declined several generous price offers for the collection.

He finally decided to hand over his son’s prized assortment to the Dien Ban museum.

However, Chiem is quite concerned that as the museum’s exhibition space remains limited and the items aren’t properly categorized and displayed, only 190 items were displayed at the exhibition, with the rest kept in the museum’s warehouse.