There is a house over 100 years old in Truong Yen in Hanoi’s suburban district of Chuong My that has a unique gold-plated Thieu Chau (a kind of wood-made, gate-shaped item to decorate altars)
that has been hunted by many antique collectors, but the owner has refused to sell.
|The owner of this special house is Mr. Trinh Van Hung. The house has laterite walls, with the roof, columns and beams made of iron, jackfruit and bead-tree wood.|
|Mr. Hung said the house was built in the early 20th century on an area of 900m2. Experiencing many ups and downs, the house campus is currently only 300m2. This is the asset of the Trinh family.|
|The first owner of the house was Mr. Trinh Van Tac - a mandarin in feudal times. Mr. Tac then sold the house to Mr Hung’s grandparents, who were relatives of Mr. Tac.|
|Mr. Hung said the house has a special history. In the past, local people believed that it was not good to cut down trees to build a new house. Therefore, Mr. Tac bought the frame of an old wooden house in Quoc Oai (Hanoi’s suburban district today) to build on his land, which is the house today.|
|Mr. Trinh Van Hung and his wife.|
|The house is designed in the traditional style, with 3 major rooms and 2 small rooms.|
|The room in the middle is the place of worship, with the altar and the unique gold-plated Thieu Chau, which is exquisitely carved with patterns of floral, leaves, rabbits, squirrels, birds…. Mr. Hung and his descendants consider Thieu Chau as the treasure of their family. Many antique traders have offered high prices to buy the Thieu Chau but Hung has refused.|
The main roof is carved with patterns of dragons and phoenixes.
|Outside the door is the old cuon thu (wood-made plate in form of a painting hang on the altar). Some of the motifs on this cuon thu are also gold plated.|
|The ironwood pillars|
|The house’s buc ban (wood doors in traditional style) and the floor, which was formaly tiled with Bat Trang tiles, have been renewed as the old ones were ruined by time.|
The frame, bars and pillars of the old house are still there but they are being destroyed by worms. Mr. Hung said that his family plans to repair the house to ensure safety for their family, but he also wants to preserve it as a cultural destination. However, the family cannot make the repairs yet as they do not have enough funding.