Bin Thuan shipwreck Buddhistic Lion bowl, 17th century Ming Dynasty porcelain


Chinese porcelain bowl painted with a Buddhistic lion and a brocade ball within a double line circle, traces of colourful overglaze foliage and birds to the outside and inside.
Ming Dynasty, early 17th century, recovered from a wreck off Bin Thuan, Vietnam, 2002.

20cm across, 9cm deep
One large rim chip, ‘ghosts’ of overglaze decoration, crazed

Around 1608, this ill-fated vessel with its valuable cargo of mostly blue and white Swatow ware from Zhangzhou was probably headed for markets in Malaysia or Indonesia, which were well-established consumers of Chinese ceramics.
Archaeological examination concludes that the ship most likely struck the coral topped Holland Bank and drifted on for nine miles before sinking beneath the waves, not to be seen until almost 400 years later when fishermen’s trawl nets became entangled in some of the Binh Thuan’s wreckage. An Archaeological examination and commercial recovery in 2002 brought the pieces to the surface. The pieces that were released by the government were sold at Christies Meblourne in 2004.




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