Shipwreck Ceramics- Nanking Cargo Chinese Ceramics dish c.1750

$145.00 AUD

Chinese blue & white dish, from the Nankin Cargo, the thickly potterd form with central unglazed ring for kiln stacking, the border with stylised flower groups.

Circa 1750

19cm wide, 4cm high

Condition: large crack (never broken) which is now consolidated & glued; surface shows signs of seawater etching; some iron stains. Still displays fine as a piece of shipwreck archaeology.



Provenance: Geldermalsen shipwreck 1752, known as the ‘Nankin Cargo’, recovered by Australian diver Captain Hatcher 1983, not sold in the European auctions of the Nankin Cargo, brought back to Australia.


These items were an anomaly in the shipwreck of the ‘Geldermalsen’. It was a Dutch trade ship, and the fine porcelains that made up most of its cargo were for Europeans. These wares are typical of the type found throughout South-East Asia, but this Dutch ship was not calling at only of those ports. It was, however, going to the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa, where the Dutch had a settlement – a ‘Factory’ – that replenished these trade ships; records indicate a large order of domestic wares destined for the Cape, which may have been these dishes & related bowls. The fact they were at the very top of the cargo supports this, as they would have been unloaded first.
Their discovery on this wreck of 1752 was also notable in the antiques trade, as previously they would have been dated much earlier – usually ‘Ming Dynasty’, ie 100 years earlier. It shows their longevity in usage through the South-East Asian region, and the importance of Shipwrecks like this to provide dating evidence.





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