Lotus Flowers on Precious Antiques

Over 100 valuable antiques made from gold, pearls and gemstones and decorated in lotus patterns were for the first time exhibited at the exhibition entitled “Lotus on Antiques” at the National Museum of History in Hanoi with the aim of introducing the public both at home and abroad to the beauty of lotus flowers in Vietnamese traditional art forms.

The antiques were displayed in five categories, including lotus on the Nguyen Dynasty’s antiques, lotus in Buddhism art, lotus on construction materials, lotus in social life and lotus embroideries. Most the objects date back to the 7th to 9th centuries. The history of the development of the art of decoration and visual art associated withthe lotus flower in the flow of Vietnamese culture was also included at the exhibition.

Visitors to the exhibition are surely amazed at the popularity and diverse beauty of this variety of flower on ancient objects used by kings and the royal families in the category of “Lotus in royal arts of the Nguyen Dynasty”. All of the antique objects which were made from jade, gold, silver and ivory, were decorated with delicate and elegant lotus flowers.

The exhibition draws much attention from foreign tourists.

The exhibition is showing over 100 antiques made from gold, jade and gemstones and decorated with lotus flowers.

Foreign tourists learn about the art of putting lotus flowers on antiques.

The exhibition helps viewers understand more about the value of lotus flowers in Vietnamese culture.

This variety of flower is seen on everyday utensils from the Le Dynasty such as incense burners, plates and bowls and other artifacts from different periods.

According to Duong Trung Quoc, a famous Vietnamese historian, there are hundreds of antiques decorated with the lotus flower in the Vietnam National Museum of History alone, and there are many other objects decorated with lotus flowers that can be seen in many other objects inlife. The exhibition helped find lotus’s position in cultural history.

Ceramic titles embossed with lotus flowers from the Ly Dynasty (the 11th -13th century).

An incense burner decorated with two dragons flanking the lotus flower from the Le Trung Hung Dynasty.
A crane holding a lotus flower carved on a stele in Linh Quang Pagoda, Hai Phong.
Buddha Sakyamoni born from a lotus from the Le Trung Hung period (the 17th – 18th century)

A hat decorated with lotus petals is made from gold of the Cham people (the 17th -18th century).
Guan Yin Buddha sitting on a bronze cast Buddha’s throne (the 19th – 20th century)
A jade urn carved with stylised lotus flowers from the Nguyen Dynasty (the 19th -20th century).

A box embossed with lotus flowers from the Nguyen Dynasty (the 19th -20th century).
A jade lotus leaf from the Nguyen Dynasty (the 19th – 20th century).

The statue of He Xiangu holding a jade lotus flower from the Nguyen Dynasty (the 19th -20th century).

A sword handle decorated with stylised lotus flowers and made from precious materials of gold, jade and tortoise-shell.

A tray with its outside in the shape of lotus petal from the Nguyen Dynasty.
The panel of “Van quang xa dau” in the shape of lotus leaves decorated
with its flower, bud and lotus and shaped into a lamp support.

The lotus is symbolic of transparency in Vietnamese culture. It also represents the refined and unyielding spirit of the Vietnamese people.

By Trinh Bo & Khanh Long