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Thread: Porcelain Cup, circa 1400AD, shipwreck salvage

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    Default Porcelain Cup, circa 1400AD, shipwreck salvage

    A beautiful, unusual porcelain cup from the famous Hoi An hoard.

    The Ming Dynasty cup is of Vietnamese origin, dating to approximately 1400 A.D.; a sea salvaged and officially recorded piece from the 'Hoi-An' Shipwreck.

    The cavetto (walls of the cup) are bell shaped and painted with thick cobalt blue line exteriorly, depicting diamond registers alternating with leaf scrolls in curved reserve. Below, peony petals lie, above the foot rim. The tondo (central reserved area) depicts a thickly painted Chinese phuc character, symbol for "wealth".



    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 currently represent a fantastic investment opportunity.

    Diameter: 3 1/2 inches.

    Condition: A particularly well preserved and vibrant example.

    Ceramics from the Hoi An wreck can now be found in the worlds top museums, for a description of a similar piece in the British museum, please see the following link.

    Please note: This is a genuine, quality 15th century ceramic salvaged from the Hoi An hoard shipwreck and offered for sale without reserve to promote our other shipwreck salvaged ceramics.




    I payed a whopping $44 for it. It has a small crack as seen in the last pic, but what do you expect for coming off a shipwreck and being underwater for up to 600 odd years ?

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    Here is a wikipedia link about the ship for anyone interested :


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    Did you pick that up on Ebay? Hard to imagine it has been around for so long. So much history has passed by while it laid on the ocean floor.
    You can learn alot using Google, and the search button.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    Did you pick that up on Ebay?
    Yep, didnt expect to win it at that price but as they recovered 250,000 pieces from the ship I suppose many collectors already have a piece or 2.

    Prior to 1996, this stuff was quite rare.

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    How do you know it is genuine?
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


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    Reputable seller, VISAL registered piece (as per original post), authenticity certificate.

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    Of course it's genuine, the bar code on the side says so....

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    This is similar to those pieces found on a Tea ship a few years ago.
    The prime cargo of the ship was Tea bought in China and being taken to the UK and apparently the Captain as part of his contract, was allowed to carry items for his own profit so long as it didnt interfere the ships cargo capacity so he bought what we generically call 'China' today and packed it in the Tea containers.
    Well, the ship struck a reef and sank and of course over the centuries the Tea dissolved away BUT it kept the 'China' pieces in a state of near perfect preservation.
    While the pieces arent that fantastic, they were at the time of fine quality we couldnt make and of course where they have lain on this reef has made them valuable.
    I am not a collector but for that price I certainly consider that a great piece to own.

    ohh, and the fact it wasnt 'Made In China' has to add some value......
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Default Re: Porcelain Cup, circa 1400AD, shipwreck salvage

    Quote Originally Posted by lsemmens View Post
    Of course it's genuine, the bar code on the side says so....
    A lot of dealers use barcodes to catalogue items these days. The days of writing on a sticker with a pen are generally long gone.

    Not everything that is old is rare and valuable. Mass production has been around for thousands of years. Prior to the discovery of this ship and its cargo pieces like this were quite rare. But when 250,000 new pieces appear on the market, obviously it makes them less rare and the value plummets dramatically.

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