Unidentified shipwreck wares
Shipwreck Porcelains - Unidentified Shipwreck wares
(Southeast) China, Zhangzhou (Swatow)
Height 50 mm (1.97 inch), diameter of rim 268 mm (10.56 inch), diameter of footring 120 mm (4.73 inch), weight 769 grams (27.13 ounce (oz.))
Dish on footring, straight rim. Decorated in reverse underglaze blue with two standing phoenixes facing and overlapping one another flanked by peony. The background is completely filled with leafy scrolls and leaves. On the rim five foliated medallions each filled with flowers, in between the medallions a concentric waves decoration. The reverse with three floral sprays.
This dish was, most likely, part of a shipwreck's cargo. It is unknown of which ship. All the glaze has worn of due to being submerged in sea water for centuries. Similar shaped and decorated dishes were found amongst the cargo of 'The Binh Thuan Shipwreck' a Chinese merchant vessel on its way from China to Johore that sank off southern Vietnam in 1608. Its recovered porcelain cargo was sold by Christie's Australia in 2004.
A identically shaped, sized and decorated dish was found amongst the ceramic load of the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) cargo vessel Witte Leeuw shipwreck which had gone down near St. Helena, on its homeward voyage in 1613, to see this dish, please see:
- The ceramic load of the "Witte Leeuw" (1613), (C.L. van der Pijl-Ketel, catalogue Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1982), p.204, inv.no:NG 1977-166W.
For similarly decorated dishes, please see:
- Oriental Ceramics at the Cape of Good Hope 1652-1795. An account of the porcelain trade of the Dutch East India Company with particular reference to ceramics with the V.O.C. monogram, the Cape Market and South African Collections, (C.S. Woodward, Cape Town & Rotterdam, 1974), p.12, cat. 17.
- Zhangzhou (Swatow) Ceramics. Sixteenth to Seventeenth Centuries Found in Indonesia, (S. Adhyatman, The Ceramic Society of Indonesia, 1999), p.92, cat. 91
- The Binh Thuan Shipwreck, sale catalogue Christie’s Melbourne, 1 & 2 March 2004, lot 54-89, 227-259, 445-474, 653-670 & 733-749.
Condition: Perfect but without glaze.
Price: € 499 - $ 556 - £ 429
(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)