Nineteen paintings by Emperor Ham Nghi (1871-1943), the eighth of the 13 kings of the Nguyen Dynasty - Vietnam’s last monarchy, will be auctioned in France next month, a source close to the family of the king said on Friday.
The auction, organized by Drouot - France’s oldest auction business, is scheduled for September 22.
These 19 paintings are kept a private collector and make up a collection that once belonged to infantry lieutenant colonel Henri Aubé.
Emperor Ham Nghi, who reigned for only one year from 1884 to 1885 before being exiled by the French to Algeria, met Aubé during his medical treatment in France.
The emperor personally painted these artworks and presented them to the French officer as a gesture of comradeship.
After wars, these paintings were discovered in a discarded box and have been preserved ever since.
The assortment of artworks up for auction represents the most extensive and comprehensive compilation of Emperor Ham Nghi’s paintings.
|The 'Chemin le long de la rivière' painting by Emperor Ham Nghi. Photo: N.Vu / Tuoi Tre|
Among this collection, one notable piece is the ‘Sun in the countryside’ (Soleil couchant sur la campagne) painting, measuring 24.5x19cm.
This particular artwork, created by the emperor in 1911, employs oil paint on cardboard paper and includes his signature and name and the date of creation.
The starting bid for each painting is expected to fall within the range of 3,000-5,000 euros (US$3,238-5,398).
Previously, during a trip to Vietnam, Amandine Dabat, the fifth generation descendant of Emperor Ham Nghi, mentioned that around 100 paintings that the emperor created are still in existence.
Among these paintings, the ‘Lake in the Alps’ is currently housed in the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities in Hue City, located in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam.
This artwork was generously donated to the museum by an undisclosed collector.
Nguyen Dynasty is Vietnam’s last monarchy that ruled in Hue from 1802 to 1945.