The Vietnamese weapons of the 17th century from the collection of the National Museum of Netherlands

Cover Page

Cite item


This article is a first part of an investigation of rare and little-known items from the Oriental weapons collection of Admiral Cornelis Tromp (1629–1691), which are now on display in Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). The Dutch investigators claim, that the wooden weapon-rack with the specimens of cold-weapons and firearms, as well as the additional accessories on it, originates from Tonquin (North Vietnam).

The author undertakes research of the collection’s history and the problems of its attribution. The work indicates the probable path, by which the weapons could be brought to Amsterdam from Vietnam in the 17th century. The questions of the Dutch East India Company activities in Southeast Asia are touched in that aspect.

Full Text


Traditional weapons of Vietnam are a poorly investigated theme for today. Not only the lack of special researches concerning the problem should be stated but also the absence of some more or less significant collections of the ancient Vietnamese weapons inside and outside the country.

Some separate items of the old sabers and some other arms are really on display in museums of Hanoi and several other Vietnamese cities, but they often date from quite a late period (the 18th–20th centuries). Some archaeological discoveries may be called exceptional. It is appropriate to recall the gatherings of axes, daggers and other Bronze Age arms of Đông Sơn culture (5th–3d centuries BC). A rich collection of weapons from the Later Le period (1428–1789), discovered during the excavations of the former Military Academy in Giang Vo, Hanoi, described in detail by the archaeologist Dr. Nguyen Thi Don is extremely importatnt [Nguyễn Thị Dơn 2001]. As far as the items, displayed in the collections abroad, are concerned, it is not easy to determine their Vietnamese origin, due to the numerous foreign influences. Indochina weapons are often identified with Chinese and in some cases with Japanese ones.

In the light of the above-said, a group of exhibits under inventory numbers from NG-NM-6087-A to NG-NM-6094-A-2, which is now on display in the Rijksmuseum (the National Museum of Netherlands) arouses true interest [Rijksmuseum NG-NM-6087-A: 05.10.2021] (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1. Weapon-rack NG-NM-6087-A. Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


First of all, it is a rectangular (200х132 cm) rack made of several boards of jati wood with a gilded carved frame, covered with the floral ornament and the phoenix figures. Perpendicular to the main surface there are three parallel rows (ten in each) of the curved ledges (functionally being shelves and hooks at the same time) decorated with the fine carvings, as well. Each ledge is ended with a head of a fantastic animal, holding a pearl in its mouth. The wood is covered with the red lacquer, some gilding is still preserved on the carved spaces. The entire structure is fixed vertically to the wall. A set of weapons and additional accessories is displayed on the rack (inventory numbers NG-NM-6088 – NG-NM-6099). It includes two paired long lances/spears, three battle scythes/glaives, two long sabers and a short one, two composite bows (quivers with a set of arrows, bracers and bracelets for the archer are attached), as well as two matchlock harquebuses (attached with an unusual type of covers, two cartridge bags and round boxes with wicks). The exhibits are in excellent condition. Blades and spear-heads are polished to a shine and have no traces of rust.

According to the description posted on the museum’s website, the collection belonged to Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp (1629–1691), a prominent statesman the Navy Admiral of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Fig. 2).


Fig. 2. Portrait of Cornelis Tromp, 1629-1691, painted by Sir Peter Lely (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK). Source:


For this reason, the rack is on display in the main maritime gallery dedicated to the Golden Age of the Netherlands, i.e., the era of the naval power of Holland. The rack and the set of weapons placed on it date back to the 17th century, and the origin of most of the items was identified by the museum staff as North Vietnamese (Tonkin).

Biographers of Admiral Tromp ascertained that at the end of 1680 he received a parcel from Batavia (now Jakarta) from his childhood friend Cornelis Wemans, a merchant of East India Company [Sint Nicolaas 2014: 94–95]. From the accompanying letter, dated March 16 of the same year, it appears that the parcel was a return gift for a portrait of Tromp, which he had sent a year earlier to Wemans with his nephew, Dirk Blom, who had been on his way to Java to take up an important official post in the Council of East Indies.

Wemans was flattered by the gift and initially wanted to thank the Admiral with his own portrait, which, however, could have only be finished by the end of the year [Ibid.]. As he had no wish to wait so long, Cornelis Wemans sent him the mentioned rack, adding 2 cartridge bags, 2 powder cans, 2 wick canisters with wick, 2 lead arm rings, 2 ‘lead covers over the arms’, 2 bows, 2 quivers with arrows, 2 muskets in a box, 2 lacquered bar knives and 2 spikes with lacquered caps to it [Rijksmuseum NG-NM-6087-A: 05.10.2021]. The last 4 pieces were wrapped in linen with the name of Tromp on it. The donor added several boxes of tea to the weapons set, and informed about it in his letter [Sint Nicolaas 2014: 95].

Cornelis Tromp placed an exotic gift from Batavia in his wife’s Amsterdam mansion on the Herengracht canal, adding six European-made pistols to the collection. The whole collection displayed in the mansion contained some other items of Asian weapons, as well. The exhibits were listed in the home-written inventory book. Subsequently, this collection of Asian weapons was inherited by the representatives of a parallel lineage of the Tromp family, dating back to Admiral Martin Harperts Tromp (1598–1653), Cornelis’s father. In 1819, the heirs intended to sell it to the Royal Cabinet of Rarities, but the deal did not take place due to a lack of funds in the budget of the latter [Ibid.: 92]. In 1863 and 1869 the collection was displayed by the owners at exhibitions in Delft and Amsterdam, and in the exposition catalogs it was listed as a “gift of the dey of Algiers” to Martin Harperts Tromp, whose coat of arms then crowned the weapon-rack [Ibid.]. In 1884 the heirs finally sold the collection to the Rijksmuseum which was at its formation period at that time. Just one year later, after the grand opening of the main museum of Holland, it was on display there.

In the early 1960s the museum staff began to doubt that the ruler of Algeria could have been the true donor of this weapons collection [Ibid.: 93]. There was an assumption that this was a gift from the administration of the Dutch East India Company not to Martin Harperts, but to his son, Cornelis Tromp. Then the coat of arms of the father had been removed from the rack. More than thirty years later, historian Robert Prudhomme van der Rijn, the biographer of both Tromps, discovered the original letter from Cornelis Wemans to his famous namesake, dated by March 18, 1680, as has been mentioned above. The document had finally shed light on the identity of the donor of the exotic arms collection and the point of its departure [Ibid.: 93–94]. Yet, the question about the country of origin of the rack and the weapon-items displayed on it was still open.

In 1992 the museum staff attributed the exhibit under the inventory number NG-NM-6087-A as “… a red lacquered and gilded rack … of European type but decorated with birds and flowers in Pesisir (coastal) style, the cosmopolitan decorative style used on the north coast of Java in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries first and foremost by Chinese craftsmen” [Veenendal 2014: 93]. The version about the manufacturing of the rack by hakka 客家 carpenters, originating from Fujian province seemed to have been proved with the decorative ornament, including the phoenix-fènghuáng鳳凰 figures. Yet, the objects, created by this manufacturing corporation in Batavia are typical of the mixed style, including not only Chinese, but also Javanese and even Dutch motifs, which are absent in the exhibit number NG-NM-6087-A.

In 2014, Jan Veenendal, a Dutch researcher, suggested that the rack did not originate from the Java-island, but from Tonkin (as in that era North Vietnam – Đàng Ngoài 唐外, which was under the actual authority of military rulers from the Trịnh clan 鄭, was named by Europeans). [Veenendal 2014: 93-94]. The scientist substantiates his assumption by the obvious similarity of the curved lion heads decorating the ledges/hooks with the sculptural image of the fantastic “lion-dog” nghê 猊 from the Lau Thuong communal house, Phu Tho province, presented in the collection of the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi and dated from 1600–1800 [Ibid.: 94]1 (Fig.3).


Fig. 3. Left: nghê statue from Lau Thuong communal house, Phu Tho province. Right: a fragment of the statue (The Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022


Also, Jan Veenendal points to typical ornamental motifs of the massive carved doors of Keo Pagoda (Thai Binh province), created in 1650–1700, presented in the same collection, as well as to the carved decorative elements of ancient wooden architecture, preserved in some houses of Hoi An and Hue. The researcher suggests that the stand NG-NM-6087-A could date from the same period, i.e., 1650–1679 [Ibid.].

All the above-mentioned examples include a decorative motif, resembling a cloud or a flame-tongue with a zigzag base and a straight, sharp end. This element can be either part of an abstract ornament or decorate expressively engraved images of fantastic animals, such as lions, dragons and phoenixes. On the door leaves of the Keo pagoda, it is repeated many times, forming ridges of clouds, among which fantastic animals are frolicking in pairs; they are large and small dragons, as well as “dog-lions” nghê (Fig. 4).


Fig. 4. The doors of Keo Pagoda, Thai Binh province (Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022


Vietnamese authors compare this ornament with “the forest of clouds, stylized as the long blades and spears” (rừng mây cách điệu hình đao mác kéo dài) [Tình Lê 2020: 29.09.2021], “protruding from the dragon’s head, back, body and elbows” (vút ra từ đầu, lưng, thân, khuỷu chân rồng) [Vũ Thị Hằng 2019: 29.09.2021]. The manes of the lion heads decorating the rack from the Rijksmuseum are outlined in exactly the same pattern. So far, we have not been able to find a special art history term that would designate this ornamental motif. According to Dr. Nguyen Thi Don, it can function both as a “cloud curtain” (vân mây), and as a flipper (vây) or scales (vẩy) of a fantastic creature2.

The author of this article managed to find this element in the decor of some other sculptural images presented in the collection of the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum. In particular, it is a nghê statue from the memorial temple in honor of Emperor Le Thanh Tong in Thanh Hoa province, dated from the beginning of the 17th century, as well as three other “dog-lion” wooden sculptures from the Lau Thuong and Huu Bo communal houses of Phu Tho province, dated from the 17th and 18th centuries. Also of interest is the decor of the crown on the head of a wooden statue of the Empress Trinh Thi Ngoc Truc (1595–1660) from the Mat pagoda in Thanh Hoa, where flames, framing the small gilded image of Buddha Amitabha in the middle, have the same shape (Fig. 5).


Fig. 5. The statue of Empress Trinh Thi Ngoc Truc from the Mat pagoda, Thanh Hoa province (Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022


Thus, stylistically the rack under number NG-NM-6087-A fits well in the context of Vietnamese fine and decorative arts of the 17th century. As for the weapons placed on it, in 2010, Rijksmuseum experts also identified their Vietnamese origin [Rijksmuseum: 05.10.2021].

Among Russian researchers, the first to pay attention to this collection was S.V. Barchevsky, a Moscow expert on Indochina weapons. The report he delivered at the conference “War and Weapons” [Barchevsky 2016: 120–126], held at the Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Signal Corps in St. Petersburg in May 2016, prompted the author of this article to visit the Rijksmuseum for direct acquaintance with the weapon-rack.

The attribution of items from the Admiral Tromp collection, proposed by the staff of the Rijksmuseum has put a number of questions for the research community:

  1. What was the way by which the rack with the richly decorated arms could have arrived to Cornelis Wemans in Batavia from Tonkin?
  2. How active were the trade relationships of East India Company with Dai Viet? Are the facts of acquiring the Vietnamese weapons by Dutch diplomatic representatives, merchants or sailors of that time known from historical sources?
  3. Is it possible to consider that the constructive and design features of the rack from the collection of Admiral Tromp and the weapons, exhibited on it are really of Vietnamese origin?
  4. Do similar items approving such a version exist in museums or private collections in Vietnam or abroad?
  5. Can any mentions of the existence and usage of such weapons in the feudal princedoms of Vietnam in the 17th century be found in the written or art sources?

In her article “A Diplomatic Gift Full of Surprises” Dutch researcher Eveline Sint Nicolaas gives several suggestions regarding the way, by which the collection could get to Amsterdam from Tonkin. A response letter from Cornelis Wemans to Admiral Tromp mentions Rijcklof van Goens, named Volckert, the son of the Governor-General of East India Company. It says that he lost his official status as a Batavian merchant, because he had made some trade transactions privately. Before his return to the Netherlands in 1680, he may have sold part of his household collection at an auction, and this is one of the possible ways for the weapon-rack to get to Cornelis Wemans from Tonkin [Sint Nicolaas 2014: 104].

The Dutch researcher proposes another, much more probable, assumption that the collection was acquired by Wemans from a certain Johannes Besselman, who headed the Tonkin trading post from 1677 to 1679 and then moved to Batavia and opened his own shop there on March 3, 1680 [Ibid.: 104–105]. A capable businessman (next year he became a cashier at the Batavian castle and later was appointed a director of a factory on the Deshima Island in Nagasaki harbor, where he died in 1684), obviously wanted to sell the rarities he had brought from Tonkin. Thus, Wemans hurrying to find a worthy gift for an eminent friend of his, could be one of the first customers in Mr. Besselman’s shop of exotic goods [Ibid.].

There is nothing incredible in the very fact of the appearance of Vietnamese weapons in one of the stores of Batavia. For the first time the Dutch appeared in the South of contemporary Vietnam, in the premises of Nguyen clan as early as in 1601 [Kleinen 2008:20]. When Japan was, virtually, closed for the external world in the 1630s, the Dutch East India Company (founded in 1602) became the main trading intermediate between “Land of the Rising Sun” and Vietnam [Ibid.: 20, 25]. The Dutch failed to establish the stable trade relations with Dang Trong principality ruled by the Nguyen. This, however, on a certain extent contributed to the strengthening of the contacts with the northern part of the country (Dang Ngoai, Tonkin), ruled by the Trịnh clan, hostile to the Nguyen [Ibid.: 36]. In 1637 East India Company opened its agency there, first situated in the town of Pho Hien. In the beginning of the next decade the trading post moved directly to the capital Thang Long [Hoang Anh Tuan 2007: 189]. The Dutch used to bring the European goods, including the firearms to Tonkin [Ibid.: 139–141].

At the same time, the Company not only delivered goods from Europe, but acted as a pan-Asian trade carrier, becoming, in particular, the exclusive intermediate between Japan and other countries of the East. Its ships headed in a direct course from the harbor of Nagasaki to the ports of Tonkin: Pho Hien and the legendary Domea [Nguyen Van Kim 2008: 75–78], where cargos of silver ingots, copper, silk fabrics, lacquer and porcelain products of high quality were delivered [Hoang Anh Tuan 2007: 127–132, 183]. In the opposite direction, Dutch ships carried cheap raw silk and inexpensive porcelain tableware. These goods also reached other Asian markets (Guangzhou, Coromandel Coast, Ceylon) [Ibid.: 29, 30, 181, 182]. In 1671 (nine years before Cornelis Wemans sent a package to Admiral Tromp), the direct sea route connecting Tonkin and Japan ceased to function [Ibid.: 191]. Ships of East India Company began to cruise from Tonkin, first to Batavia, and from there to the Netherlands and “Land of the Rising Sun”, and then returned with a wide variety of goods on board. In the same years, the cases of semi-legal private trade conducted by employees of the Dutch trading post in Thang Long, were noted, as well as the delivery of local goods to Batavia by them [Ibid.: 192–193].

The Company’s correspondence also indicates that not only European firearms, but the cold Japanese weapons, were also part of this grandiose trade. So, a letter from “Annam Kokbueng, King of Tonkin” (Emperor Le Than Tong (1619–1643/1649–1662) titled in international correspondence as An Nam Quoc Vuong, i.e., the Prince of An Nam)3 to the head of the Company, Governor-General Anthony van Diemen, dated by 1643, literally said the following: ‘the Japanese used to come here in their junks and supply me with all kinds of rare goods, such as iron, sulfur, copper, swords, and many others, and in return they received silk. Now you can bring us these and other goods on the same terms’ [Berzin 1987: 92]. Besides, cold (bladed) weapons sometimes acted as diplomatic gifts. In the same letter, the monarch states: ‘I gave the captain two gold-inlaid swords to present to the Dutch prince as a token of my respect. I also gave a gold-encrusted sword to the captain, and a silver-encrusted sword to the junior captain’ [Ibid.]. In 1652 “Ong Siadi, the Great Mandarin of Tonkin” (Trinh Trang was a military ruler of Dang Ngoai in 1623–1657) wrote in his letter to the Governor-General Charles Reinirsson: “As a sign of my favor to the Dutch I send you the gifts: a gold-inlaid sword and two catti of musk” [Berzin 1987:93].

It is of interest, that beside silk and cheap porcelain, some Vietnamese imitations of Japanese weapons also came to “Land of the Rising Sun” from time to time. In particular, there are known several tsuba-guards for samurai swords, which have a Vietnamese origin. [McElhinney: 06.10.2021].

Considering the above-said, we can assume for sure that the collection of weapons really came first to Batavia, and then to Amsterdam from Tonkin. However, the question is still open, what particular design and decor features of the items included do really prove their Vietnamese origin.

Some bright examples of North Vietnamese wooden sculpture from the 17th century, mentioned above, have an obvious decorative resemblance to the weapon-rack from the collection of Admiral Tromp. As for the functional analogues of the latter, we managed to find one object.

While working on this article, the author received a curious photo of another weapon rack with a bow and a set of arrows placed on it from S.V. Barchevsky. This one is presented in the collection of the Palace Museum of Antiquities in Hue. It is also made of wood and covered with red lacquer and gilding, but, unlike the exhibit from the Rijksmuseum, it is not attached to the wall, but is posed on a stand. The hooks are located on both sides in two rows, forming three symmetrical pairs [Unstrung bow and arrows: 06.10.2021]. With their curved shape and gold-plated lion or dragon heads (the photo is not much distinct), they are the very reminiscent of similar parts of the rack from the Amsterdam collection. As the bow is placed on the hooks, and six arrows are inserted into the holes of the special wooden frame fixed on the stand, this is a weapon rack. The latter casts doubt on Ms. Sint-Nikolaas’s assertion that exhibit NG-NM-6087-A was not specifically intended for preserving weapons [Sint Nicolaas 2014: 103]. Also, it should be added that the Amsterdam exhibit is structurally the very reminiscent of Japanese racks for harquebuses and other weapons found in castles from the era of feudal wars Sengoku-jidai 戦國時代 (1467–1615)4. They are also vertical stands fixed on the wall with parallel rows of the ledges-hooks. These items, however, are not colored and are devoid of any decor and gilding (Fig. 6).


Fig. 6. Weapon-rack (Japan, Himeji castle). Source:


At first glance, the cold-weapons and firearms placed on the rack from the collection of Admiral Tromp may also seem Japanese ones. It is easy to imagine that the displayed pole-arms are the yari槍, and naginata長刀, the sabers are true samurai katana 刀, as well as the harquebuses are the Japanese modifications of the Western ones known as tanegashima 種子島. Among all the exhibits displayed on the rack only the short bows have a “non-Japanese” look, decisively different from the samurai yumi 弓, however, the attached quivers are clearly stylized as an island prototype, and even are decorated with the imitation of the samurai familial coats of arms monshō紋章.

Everything reminds much of the export of Japanese weapons to the Asian mainland, especially intensive in the era of Sengoku-jidai [Sesko 2013:12.10.2021]. This period continued until the country was closed by the Tokugava shogunate (1600–1868) about 1635. In China the yùlínjūn 御林軍, an imperial guard of the Ming-period (1368–1643), was armed with the Japanese naginata and the large two-handed swords ōdachi大太刀 [Zhōu Wěi1957: 263, ill. 82]. Some exemplars of those kinds of weapons, presented as a gift to the Ming emperors by Japanese diplomatic missions, were preserved in the palace vaults during the next Qing dynasty (1644–1912) [Zhōu Wěi 1957: 263]. The high quality of Japanese blades, which were considered unsurpassed in a number of parameters (quality of steel, design features, aesthetic design), led to the emergence of their numerous local imitations [Zhōu Wěi, 1957:262].

The Japanese cold weapons had a vast popularity in Vietnam, as well. Famous missionary Alexandre de Rhodes (1591-1660) wrote in his “Histoire du Royaume de Tunquin” (History of Tonkin-kingdom): “The Japanese people once [brought. – V.V.] a lot of silver with them to buy silk here. They also brought along a lot of weapons and swords to sell” [Nguyen Van Kim 2008: 78]. The above-cited letter from Le Than Tong to Governor-General Anthony van Diemen also says that the Japanese delivered swords to Dang Ngoai. The text of the document confirms the interest of the Tonkinese aristocracy in continuing deliveries; the letter directly states that after the closure of “Land of the Rising Sun”, the Dutch, who retained their trading post in Nagasaki Bay, could also bring the same goods to Tonkin.

According to French researchers, in the 16th and 17th centuries Japan was the main supplier of the edged weapons to Dai Viet and the other states of Indochina [Huard & Durand 1954:117]. The original Japanese bladed weapons can be seen in the expositions of Hanoi museums (the State Historical Museum, the Museum of Military History), where their local imitations are also presented. The latter are preserved in a number of museums and private collections outside Vietnam, as well. As usual, they are not an exact copy of the Japanese prototypes, but have a number of differences in the design of the blade / spearhead, handle / pole, the mount, as well as the decor.

The differences of that very type were revealed by the staff of the Rijksmuseum while investigating “Japanese” items from the weapon-rack of Cornelis Tromp. To determine the possible Vietnamese origin of these exhibits, it is necessary to scrutiny them scrupulously. That must be the subject of the second part of this research.


1 According to the author’s observation made on January 28, 2022, the sculpture dates from the 17th century.

2 The opinion was expressed in personal correspondence and conversations between Dr. Nguyen Thi Don and the author of this article (September 2021 and January 2022).

3 A husband of Her Majesty Trinh Thi Ngoc Truc; the mentioned above statue is presented in the collection of the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi.

4 The author saw such racks for harquebuses and spears in Himeji Castle in February 2020.


About the authors

Vladimir A. Vetyukov

Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4604-7712

Ph.D. (History), Researcher

Russian Federation, 18, Dvortsovaya emb., St. Petersburg, 191186


  1. Bartchevsky S.V. (2015). Кlinkovoje kholodnoje oruzhie Vietnama XIX – pervoj poloviny XX vieka. Problemy atribuzii [The Vietnamese Cold Bladed Weapons of the 19 th – first half 20th centuries. The attribution problems], in: Vojna i oruzhie. Novyje issledovanija i materialy [The War and Weapons. New Investigations and Materials]. Тhe acts of the Sixth International scientific-practical Conference. 13–15 may 2015. Part I. Saint Petersburg Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps. S. 106–110. (In Russian)
  2. Berzin, E.O. (1987). Jugo-Vostochnaya Azia i expansija Zapada v XVII – nachale XVIII v. [The Southeast Asia and the expansion of the West in XVII – early XVIII cent.]. М.: Nauka. (In Russian)
  3. Hoang Anh Tuan (2007). Silk for Silver. Dutch-Vietnamese Relations, 1637-1700. TANAP Monographs on the History of Asian-European Interaction. Ed. by Leonard Blussé and Cynthia Viallé, Vol. 5. Leiden-Boston.
  4. Huard, P. & Durand, M. (1954). Connaissance du Viet Nam [Knowledge of Vietnam]. Paris – Hanoi. (In French)
  5. Kleinen, J. (2008). About former friends and feigned foes. Dutch relations with “Quinam” in the 17th century, in: Lion and Dragon. Four centuries of Dutch-Vietnamese relations. Boom–Amsterdam.
  6. McElhinney J. L. Excerpts from “Nanban Tsuba and Asian Export Sword Guards”. Retrieved on October 6, 2021 from URL:
  7. Nguyễn Thị Dơn (2001). Sưu tập vũ khí thời Lê ở Ngọc Khánh (Hà Nội). Luận án Tiến sĩ lịch sử [The collection of weapons of Lê period in Ngọc Khánh (Hà Nội). A thesis for Doctor of History degree]. Hà Nội. (In Vietnamese)
  8. Nguyen Van Kim (2008). The position of Pho Hien and Domea in the Tonkin trading system in the 16th and 17th century, in: Lion and Dragon. Four centuries of Dutch-Vietnamese relations. Boom–Amsterdam.
  9. Rijksmuseum (NG-NM-6087-A). Cornelis Tromp’s Weapon Rack, anonymous, c. 1650 - c. 1679. Retrieved on October 6, 2021 from URL:
  10. Sesko, M. (2013). Japanese Sword trade with Ming. January 11. URL:
  11. Sint Nicolaas, E. (2014). A Diplomatic Gift Full of Surprises: The weapon rack of Cornelis Tromp and other 'exotic' arms belonging to Tromp and Michiel de Ruyter, in: Richardson Th. East Meets West: Diplomatic Gifts of Arms and Armour between Europe and Asia, proceedings of the Royal Armouries conference held at H.M. Tower of London, September 14, 2013. Leeds: Royal Armouries. P. 89–111.
  12. Tình Lê (2020). Bảo vật quốc gia: Hai cánh cửa chạm rồng 400 tuổi đẹp nhất Việt Nam [The national treasure: the most beautiful 400 year-old doors with carved dragons in Vietnam]. Retrieved on October 29, 2021 from URL: (In Vietnamese)
  13. Unstrung bow and arrows – Huế citadel. Retrieved on October 6, 2021 from URL:
  14. Veenendal J. (2014). Asian Art and Dutch Taste. Zwolle/den Haag.
  15. Vũ Thị Hằng (2019). 9 Bảo vật quốc gia ở Bảo tàng Mỹ thuật Việt Nam (9 National Treasures in Vietnam Fine Arts Museum). Retrieved on September 29, 2021 from URL:
  16. Zhōu Wěi (1957). Zhōng Guó bīngqì shǐgǎo [The Notes on History of Chinese Weapons]. Beijing. (In Chinese).

Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1. Weapon-rack NG-NM-6087-A. Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Download (466KB)
2. Fig. 2. Portrait of Cornelis Tromp, 1629-1691, painted by Sir Peter Lely (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK). Source:

Download (100KB)
3. Fig. 3. Left: weapon-rack NG-NM-6087-A, a fragment. Ledges decorated with the heads of lion-dog nghê. Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Middle: nghê statue from Lau Thuong communal house, Phu Tho province. Right: a fragment of the statue (The Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022

Download (279KB)
4. Fig. 4. The doors of Keo Pagoda, Thai Binh province (Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022

Download (2MB)
5. Fig. 5. The statue of Empress Trinh Thi Ngoc Truc from the Mat pagoda, Thanh Hoa province (Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi). Photo by the author, January 2022

Download (1MB)
6. Fig. 6. Weapon-rack (Japan, Himeji castle). Source:

Download (544KB)

Copyright (c) 2022 Vetyukov V.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies