One of the rarest ceramics from the famous Hoi An shipwreck, dating to approximately 1400 A.D.
This is a very large Ming dynasty compound porcelain box or covered jar. The base of the box with biconical form and wide everted mouth, decorated around the shoulder with boxes of stylized clouds, the body with further cloud patterns, two decorated centrally with splayed chrysanthemum flowers and two with exquisitely depicted birds in mid flight.
The lid with undulating ridge, mounted in the center with a wonderful lotus bud form finial, decorated delicately in blue on white with a trio of stylized chrysanthemum flowers, set amongst further tangled foliage, a triple lined border surrounds.
One of the rarest and largest ceramics we have seen from the Hoi an, a fantastic display piece with a fascinating provenance.
This rare piece has a wonderful, romantic provenance. It was excavated from the important Hoi-An shipwreck. The Hoi-An was a huge, overloaded trading ship that sank in the mid 15th Century, probably due to a catastrophic typhoon. The ship was carrying a substantial cargo of High Quality Vietnamese Ming export porcelain. We know that the Hoi An wares were produced in Kilns near modern-day Hanoi and were probably bound for the European Market before the ship was cruelly destroyed and sunk 250 feet into the cold waters of the South China Sea. The fascinating story of the Hoi-An and its recovery has been made into a best-selling novel by Frank Pope, entitled Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam.
In contrast to many unprovenanced Hoi An pieces on the market, this ceramic has been officially recorded by the Vietnamese authorities (VISAL), whose sticker is affixed to the artifact. The recent ratification of the UNESCO convention by South East Asian countries will effectively put a halt to all future shipwreck salvage operations. Consequently, legitimately recorded pieces such as the present example are finite in supply and represent a fantastic investment opportunity in the current climate.
Ceramics from this famous shipwreck, can now be found on display in the worlds top museums, inlcuding the Ashmolean and the British museum.
Diameter: approx 7 1/2 inches.
Height: approx 7 inches.
Condition: Well preserved. The mouth of the base professionally restored. The bottom of the base, and lid interior show remnants of marine encrustation, fascinating evidence of over half a millennium spent under the South China Sea! Please see pictures.