​Limited versions of Hue architectural art book auctioned

Limited versions of Hue architectural art book auctioned
The phoenix copy of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

Two special limited versions made in paper embossing of ‘L’Art à Hué,’ a book about architectural art in Vietnam’s former capital Hue 100 years ago that was published on Wednesday night, have been successfully auctioned for VND54 million (US$2,322).

‘L’Art à Hué’ is originally a 167-page research with 222 pictorial annexes by the late French missionary Léopold Michel Cadière detailing patterns, decorative designs, landscapes, and constructions in Hue City and its nearby regions in the previous century.

It was published in the Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hue magazine in 1919.

The research has been a reliable, popular reference for historical and architectural study among Vietnam’s art academia as several imperial artists of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the country’s last monarchy reign, also contributed to its completion.

However, the material remained foreign to public readers as it was written in French and from a quite academic approach.

The normal version of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

The normal version of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

The cover of the research ‘L’Art à Hué’ published in the Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hue magazine in 1919 is seen in this photo.

The cover of the research ‘L’Art à Hué’ published in the Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hue magazine in 1919 is seen in this photo.

Therefore, a group of researchers in Hue, together with the book publishing company Thai Ha Books, decided to transform it into a Vietnamese edition for broader reception.

At the launch ceremony of the new edition in Hue last night, a ‘Long Ma’ copy of the book, whose cover features a dragon horse, was auctioned off at VND21 million ($903) and a ‘Phung’ version with a phoenix embossed on its cover was sold for VND33 million ($1,419).

Both the special limited versions were printed in Trucchigraphy, a unique paper embossing art originating in Vietnam.

Two other special copies of ‘L’Art à Hué’ had been bought for VND18.5 million ($795.5) at an auction in Hanoi before the launch ceremony in Hue, while two other precious versions will be put up for another auction in Ho Chi Minh City in the coming time.

All the auction revenue will be given to the Hue culture fund.

The dragon horse copy of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

The dragon horse copy of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

A dragon architectural pattern from the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

A dragon architectural pattern from the book ‘L’Art à Hué’

People attend the launch ceremony of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’ in Hue, central Vietnam, on October 9, 2019. Photo: Minh Tu / Tuoi Tre

People attend the launch ceremony of the book ‘L’Art à Hué’ in Hue, central Vietnam, on October 9, 2019. Photo: Minh Tu / Tuoi Tre

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