Description: A good-sized, blue & white pottery glazed shipwreck dish, the interior showing a stylised crane standing in a river surrounded by reeds and foliage; a painted band of alternating stylised floral roundels between panels resembling fish scales on the interior of the rim. The underside with a matt green glaze with the foot reserved and holding grit from the kiln with some minor marine encrustation. Some surface wear particularly affecting part of the rim interior and some pitting on the reverse, otherwise condition good. A numbered Binh Thuan auction label on the underside. From the Binh Thuan shipwreck, Vietnam.
Size: 172 mm/6.8 ins. in diameter
Culture: Chinese, shipwreck ceramic
Date: c. 1608 A.D.
Notes: The Binh Thuan shipwreck was discovered in early 2001 by local fishermen while trying to untangle a trawl net caught on the wreck, which lies in 41 m (135 ft) of water, about 65 km (40 miles) off the coast of Binh Thuan province. The wreck is that of a Chinese junk which archival evidence suggests was transporting silk and ceramics from Zhangzhou in southern China to Johore, Malaysia, for the Dutch market, which sank in 1608. About half of the ceramics recovered from the wreck were retained for Vietnam museums and the remaining pieces auctioned by Christie’s in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2004, realising 2 million Australian dollars (just over one million GBP).