Binh Thuan shipwreck Buddhistic Lion bowl, Swatow Ware C. 1608
Chinese porcelain bowl painted in underglaze blue with a Buddhistic lion and a brocade ball, within a double line circle, traces of original on glaze enamels & ghost of waterbirds & plant design remaining.
Ming Dynasty, early 17th century, recovered from a wreck off Binh Thuan, Vietnam, 2002.
20cm across, 9cm deep
Good condition with expected ‘shipwreck’ surface, cleaned & treated in 2002, stable.
Note the rough granitic sand on the base, a part of the original firing process.
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 Melbourne in 2004.