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Livre impérial en argent doré à cinq feuilles. Viêtnam, daté 1846.  photo Sotheby's

composé de trois doubles feuilles et deux couvertures reliées par quatre anneaux, la face et le dos gravés de dragons dans les nuages et au-dessus des flots encadrés d'une frise géométrique, les feuilles incisées de caractères chinois sur cinq faces, inscription élevant la dame Vu Thi Viên au titre de concubine de premier rang, 23 x 13,8 cm, 9 1/8 x 5 7/16 in. Est. 30,000—40,000 EUR. Lot Sold 72,750 EUR

NOTE: This book was made during the sixth year of Thiêu Tri (1846) when the Emperor decided to raise the lady Vu Thi Viên from the rank tân (2nd class favourite) to the rank phi (1st class favourite) with the title of Luong Phi. The text celebrates the vertues of the lady : her sweetness, her honnesty, her respect towards the Empress dowager, her pacific manners with the other favourites and her involvement into the life of the Forbidden City.
According to the genealogy of the Nguyen family she was the daughter of the mandarin Vu Huu Linh, the wife of Emperor Thiêu Tri and mother of the four princes : Nguyen Phuc Hông Huu, Nguyên Phuc Hông Kiên, Nguyên Phuc Hông Bang, Nguyên Phuc Hông Thu and of the two princess : Nguyên Phuc Y Phuong, Nguyên Phuc Minh Tu.

Sotheby"s. Asian Art, 16 Dec 10, Paris www.sothebys.com