In 1945, the Nguyen dynasty donated King Minh Mang’s priceless golden seal (aka Ton Than chi bao imperial seal) to the government.
The Ton Than chi bao imperial seal changed hands after the August Revolution. The Ngu Phung level of Hue, on the platform of the Ngo Mon tower, was the place of this transfer on August 30, 1945.
Tran Huy Lieu, Nguyen Luong Bang and Cu Huy Can were among those of the envoy of the Provisional Revolutionary Government who received the Sword of Abdication from King Bao Dai. It was also decided that the assets of the dynasty would be handed over.
Treasures, including the imperial seal Ton than chi bao, were transported to Hanoi after the abdication rites.
The Ton Than chi bao imperial seal, according to the National Museum of History, has been moved a lot.
When the National Resistance War broke out in December 1946, the seal was maintained.
After the Dien Bien Phu victory in 1954, it was returned to the Ministry of Finance warehouse for administration.
The seal was then donated to the History Museum in 1959. Including this seal, the museum delivered a shipment of antiquities to the State Bank in 1962 for safekeeping.
“The collection remained entirely locked for more than 50 years, and only a small number of people were aware of its existence. The National History Museum sends a representative to the bank’s warehouse once a year to verify the integrity of the seal,” the National History Museum said.
It was not until 2007 that the National Museum of History (formerly known as the Vietnam History Museum) obtained the seal, following its extensive renovations and upgrades to a storage facility security, as well as the installation of new security technologies.
The Ton Than chi Bao imperial seal was cast in the 8th year of Minh Mang (1827), listed in the national treasure register. The book Dai Nam Thuc Luc says, “Throw the Ton Than Chi Bao 3 cun 2 fen wide, 3 fen 6 li long; Sac Menh Chi Bao is 3 cun 2 fen wide, 3 fen 2 li long (all these measurements are about 9.5 cm according to the ancient Chinese metric system used at the time), each handle looks like a winding dragon , cast in 10 years -old gold. A task of casting the seals should be given to the Ministries of Ceremonies and Interior and Armaments. This was also stated in the book Kham Dai Nam Hoi Dien Su Le.
This two-tiered square seal of Ton than chi bao was made of 10-year-old gold in the shape of a winding dragon with its forward-facing head, two long horns, nine flared tails, and five claws. Chinese characters are engraved on the back in two separate lines.
The one on the right translated “Cast on the auspicious day of October, the 8th year of Minh Mang, 1827”, and the one on the left was “10-year gold weighing 234 liang, 4 qian, 3 fen” (ancient Chinese metric system, approximately 8.9kg). ‘Hoang De (Emperor) Ton Than Chi Bao was inscribed on the front’.
Several nicks and dents can be seen on the edge of the seal, as well as a small hole in the center. The seal’s weight is listed as 8,983 kg in the application for recognition as a national treasure.
The Ton Than chi bao imperial seal and the sac menh chi bao seal have been identified by the National Museum of History as having a unique decorative layout and shape with a large dragon image, delicately carved in the shape of a block.
Ton than chi bao seal, on the other hand, is the heaviest gold seal in the royal treasury seal collection of Nguyen Dynasty and other feudal dynasties in Vietnam.
The Ton than chi bao seal is known to have been formed in a different way, with the image of a winding dragon with its head raised and in a majestic posture, as seen in the national treasury records.
Most of the other seals in the Royal Treasures collection of the National Museum of History have seal handles depicting dragons in a standing or kneeling position, with straight or twisted heads and long horns, arched backs and curled tails with seven or nine flare-shaped rays.
Ton Than Chi Bao is recognized by the National Heritage Board as a symbol of the Nguyen Dynasty, an important historical source documenting the prosperity of Emperor Minh Mang in particular and the development of Vietnamese culture in general during his reign.
The seals commissioned by King Minh Mang to be added to the emperor and dynasty seal system included this one.
Historical records suggest that the Ton than chi bao imperial seal was used to commemorate the country’s emperors and queens by naming them and bestowing them with honorary insignia.
Among the feudal dynasties, the Nguyen dynasty in particular, respect for names was essential.
It is the image of the dragon of Ton than chi bao which was featured in consecration documents and linked to important royal rites, which became the emblem of authority of the Nguyen dynasty. It is important to remember that the Nguyen dynasty and Vietnamese history as a whole flourished under Emperor Minh Mang in particular, according to the record.
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