Binh Thuan shipwreck chrysanthemum box, Wanli – 1608 Shipwreck Recovery


Small pottery box, the body moulded with lappet panels, the cover as a stylised chrysanthemum, with traces of bright on-glaze enamels.
Ming Dynasty,

Wanli reign

early 17th century,

recovered from a wreck off Binh Thuan, Vietnam, 2002.

7cm across 4cm high

Condition: very encrusted & signs of being under the sea for 400 years….

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.




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