A pair of T​u Linh (Four Sacred Animals) jars by artisan ​Pham Anh Dao from the Bat Trang pottery village was auctioned at 275,000 USD. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- A pair of Tu Linh (Four Sacred Animals) jars by artisan Pham Anh Dao from the Bat Trang pottery village have been auctioned off at a price of 275,000 USD.

The first professional art auction in Vietnam took place on May 28 in Hanoi gathering a variety of local and foreign artists, critics and art lovers.

The hand-made jars were produced in 2010 and given a starting price of 900 million VND (40,300 USD). Until now, Dao was the first Bat Trang artisan to successfully handcraft two jars, each weighing 500kg. They measured 2.7m in height and 1.3m in diameter, with cracked enamel styling as of ancient ceramics. Dao spent more than a year making the jars by hand and took 70 hours to bake them.

Paintings entitled Hanh Phuc (Happiness) by Hoang Phuong Vy, Tien Nu Vung Cao (Uplands Fairies) by Dao Hai Phong and Tren Dong Song Do (Along the Red River) by Quach Dong Phuong were auctioned at 65 million VND (3,000 USD), 95 million VND (4,500 USD) and 150 million VND (7,500 USD), respectively.

An altar from the late 19th century which had belonged to painter Le Thiet Cuong was sold for 143 million VND (7,000 USD).

Tran Quoc Khanh, CEO of Lac Viet Company, the organiser of the event, said this was the first professional auction in Vietnam, held in line with current legal provisions.

“This kind of auction aims to honour the value of labour and the creativity of the authors as well as establishing a transparent market for domestic artworks,” he said.

“We guarantee the quality of the artworks, their origin and uniqueness. The transparent auction also prevents tax loss for the government.”

Before, artists often sold paintings at galleries. Sometimes, artworks were auctioned for charity purposes, so these auctions did not reflect the true value of the items.

Art critic Phan Cam Thuong said the art auction would help establish a transparent and popular art market in Viet Nam.

“Now you buy an artwork for its true value, not because you want to do charity work,” he said. “So, a professional art auction also protects the value of Vietnamese artworks in the international market.”.-VNA