Discovering Unique “Ancient Fan Museum” in Hanoi

Many people refer to House No. 2 on Ta Hien Street in Hanoi as the "Ancient Fan Museum" because it houses hundreds of antique fans.

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Numerous antique fans of the “unique” form, dating back hundreds of years, from well-known brands around the world, including Marelli of Italy, Emi of the Netherlands, Calor of France, elephant ear fan of Russia, National 110 vol of Japan, etc., are kept at House No. 2 on Ta Hien Street (Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi).

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Tran Cong Phuc, known as “the antique fan king,” has passed away five years ago, but his devotion to the old fans has not. Because Phuc’s student Nguyen Van Ngoc continued to reinvigorate old admirers, Tran Hong Duc’s son succeeded his father.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Tran Hong Duc shared that he is a public official working in a ward in Hoan Kiem district, although his work is very busy, in order to maintain the family’s traditional profession, he still keeps his shop inherited from his father.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

“Antique fans were a part of my youth. Whenever I observed my father working diligently to repair a fan, I frequently sat and watched with passion and was very eager to assist him. It was exceedingly challenging to restore a fan at that time. Not only are the restoration materials uncommon, but every step of the restoration process is carried out by hand. It takes a lot of fans to switch from one sort of accessory to another because many of them cannot be properly restored. There are some fans that require accessories from two to three other fans in order to be finished,” according to Duc.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Not everyone has the patience to sit for long periods of time with damaged fans because the process demands ingenuity and accuracy. Even though it was complicated, the father and son consistently fixed it when he was motivated enough. There are only a few shops in Hanoi right now that fix old fans. As a result, experts who fix antique fans are also quite good. Rarely, my father trained me and two other employees here,” said Duc.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Duc claims that despite not having any experience in fan maintenance, he was able to recognize many valuable antique fans. He shared, “Even though I wasn’t trained in fan repair, I got a lot of advice from my father since he taught and taught me how to repair a fan since I was a child.”

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

According to Duc, a lot of people choose vintage ceiling fans in particular because they provide a quiet breeze that feels similar to the wind outside while they are in use. Additionally, the fan’s European design radiates delicate charm and is appropriate for rooms furnished in the neoclassical style.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Ngoc has been employed here for approximately 20 years; at the time, he was only 18 years old. He says that his job involves bringing back to life an almost-original fan after it appeared to have been abandoned. It makes me feel triumphant and fascinated. I can spend the entire day exploring and figuring out the best approach to restore it, just like you,” Ngoc said.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

Currently, Duc’s little home is devoted to displaying only fans. On the floor, there are no spaces without fans and fan equipment. On the ceiling, the ceiling fans have their wings removed to conserve space and hang close together.

Forth order to have such a large “heirloom” as it is now, his father put in a tremendous amount of effort to track down and collect old, broken fans with a lengthy life.

He was so in love with the fans that every time he heard it, he went all the way to look for it. Fans purchased from Phuc for “rubbish” can occasionally be worth hundreds of dollars.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin

With this unique collection of antique fans, Phuc was once listed in the Vietnam Guinness Book of Records in 2012.

Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Photo: Tap chi Nguoi Dua Tin
Ollie Le Nguyen
Tạp chí Người Đưa Tin