Dinh Cong Tuong,48, stands near his collection of antique ceramic teapots in his house. Photo: Minh Thanh
People call Dinh Cong Tuong the “King of Ceramics” for a reason.
With a massive collection of around 100,000 items accumulated from his numerous trips across Vietnam, Tuong’s two-story house in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon, always looks and feels like a museum.
Most of the space is filled up with beautiful antique plates, bowls, vases, teapots and the like. There are so many things your eyes can easily get lost.
The 48-year-old man said he has traveled across Vietnam over the past two decades to search and buy these items. Some are not expensive but a few rare items are worth up to several hundreds of millions of dong.
They belong to the different cultures of Vietnam: Dong Son, a Bronze Age period in the northern delta; Sa Huynh or Champa culture, which flourished between 3,000 and 1,800 years ago along the central coast; and Oc Eo, a Mekong Delta culture that dates back to between the first and seventh centuries.
Tuong said his collection also includes a number of items from China, France, Japan and Singapore that date back to between the 12th and 20th centuries.
In 2011, the Vietnam Record Book Center recognized Tuong as the owner of the largest collection of antique ceramics in the country. At that time he had more than 80,000 items.
Tuong said he always welcomes local and foreign visitors to his house to see the antiques and shares with them amazing stories of the items. Keep in mind that Tuong cannot speak English, so you may need an interpreter.
He said he plans to turn his house into a three-story café to introduce his collection to more people and help promote the country’s culture.
Tuong’s house is located at 453/140 Le Van Khuong Street, Hiep Thanh Ward, District 12, Ho Chi Minh City.
Dinh Cong Tuong, 48, holds a decorative vase at his house in Ho Chi Minh City. Photos: Minh Thanh
A ceramic plate made in China in the 18th century, which Tuong said he bought it for VND300 million (US$13,450), making it the most expensive item in his collection
A ceramic bowl that dates back to Oc Eo culture, which flourished in the Mekong Delta in the 1st-7th centuries
A plate featuring a chicken flock made in Vietnam in the 19th century
A teapot made in Japan in the 19th century
A small pot for cooking from Oc Eo culture
A decorative vase made in the Vietnamese southern town of Bien Hoa decades ago
A decorative vase featuring King Quang Trung (1753-1792), who led the Tay Son troops to defeat the 200,000-strong army of the Qing dynasty in the spring of 1789
A statue featuring a goddess of Champa culture, which was made in the 18th century in Saigon’s neighbor town of Bien Hoa
Following are pictures of some other items in Tuong’s collection.