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GWS Auctions to sell Vietnamese royal family’s items June 23

Queen Mother Tu Cung Hoang Thai Hau’s Qing Dynasty Yongzheng period blue and white porcelain bowl with silver rim and base, 18th century, 10 in. diameter x 6 in. high. Estimate: $10,000-$12,000. GWS Auctions image

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – GWS Auctions will sell rare items of a Vietnamese royal family as well as fine jewelry at the company’s June 23 sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Vietnamese items in the auction once belonged to the Queen Mother Tu Cung Hoang Thai Hau (Empress Dowager Doan Huy), who was the last queen of the Nguyen dynasty, and the mother of Emperor Bao Dai. The dynasty ended in 1945, when the emperor abdicated the throne and transferred power to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Royal items include the queen mother’s Qing Dynasty Yongzheng Period blue and white porcelain bowl (above). The bowl is decorated in blue underglaze, with an elaborate scene of traveling scholars. The inside of the bowl is also decorated in blue underglaze with a pagoda on a hillside with bamboo. The bowl is finished with a silver rim on both the base and the lip, as selected vessels were finished with rims of silver as early as the Han dynasty to set them apart from the ordinary, and to make them suitable for high class clients. This also protects them from damage. This is a thin porcelain, as was common during the early 18th century. The base of the plate bears a six-character Qing Dynasty Yongzheng Period marking in blue underglaze in a double circle. This piece comes from the estate of a Vietnamese Royal Family (the family now lives in the United States and wishes to remain private. This bowl, which is estimated at $10,000-$12,000, will be accompanied by a letter of provenance from the family.

A Qing Dynasty Wucai porcelain lidded standing chicken bowl, from which the queen mother used to eat bird’s nest soup, a Vietnamese delicacy, is considered a museum-quality piece. The 5-inch-tall cover bowl bears a Yongzheng Reign mark and is elaborately decorated in the Wucai style with multicolored underglazes depicting a cockerel and hen watching over their chicks. The Empress Dowager Doan Huy kept the covered bowl in her personal collection before it was passed down. It has a $35,000-$50,000 estimate.

Queen Mother Tu Cung Hoang Thai Hau’s Qing Dynasty Wucai porcelain lidded standing chicken bowl w Yongzheng Reign mark, 5 in. high x 4 in. diameter. Estimate: $35,000-$50,000. GWS Auctions image

A Vietnamese Qing Dynasty period baluster vase having a Kangxi Reign mark is decorated in the Famille Noire Verte style. The piece is painted with a lively scene in vibrant multicolored enamels against a glossy black enamel ground. The base bears the six-character Kangxi reign mark in double circles in blue underglaze. The 17-inch-tall vase has a $5,000-$8,000 estimate.

Vietnamese Qing Dynasty period Famille Noire Verte baluster vase with six-character Kangxi Reign mark, 17 in. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. GWS Auctions image

Also from the Vietnamese royal family is a 17th-18th-century ceramic Thai Bach statue, which is expected to raise $8,000-$10,000.

Vietnamese 17th-18th century ceramic Thai Bach statue,12 ½ in. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. GWS Auctions image

GWS Auctions claim experts and avid collectors that due to the rapid modernization of Vietnam, Vietnamese antiques will within the next 10 years be more valuable than Chinese antiques and what used to sell for hundreds are now selling for tens of thousands.

The bulk of the 181-lot auction is composed of fine jewelry. The top example is a diamond, emerald and platinum convertible brooch/pendant and earring set, which is expected to sell for about $95,000. The brooch (when put together) measures 3.75 inches long by 3.10 inches side. The measurement of each earring accent is 1 inch long by 1 inch wide. The pendant is 1.75 inches long by 1.25 inches wide. This particular piece can be considered top tier investment quality, as it is the only one in existence.

David Webb 20.00-carat diamond and 16.50-carot Columbian emerald and solid platinum convertible brooch/pendant and earring accent set. Estimate: $96,000-$97,500. GWS Auctions image

David Webb Jewelry has been in business since 1948, and among his clients were Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Barbra Streisand.

For details contact GWS Auctions at or 760-610-4175.

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