A Chinese shipwreck circular saucer lamp, Vung Tau cargo, c. 1690 A.D.

A Chinese shipwreck circular saucer lamp, Vung Tau cargo, c. 1690 A.D.

Code: 2087

Description: A shipwreck circular saucer lamp in orange coarse ware with open bowl and small thumbspur handle. Extensive marine encrustation on the interior (mainly Bryozoa) and a crack extending from the edge to the centre of the bowl, but stable. No wreck identifier label but from the Vung Tau cargo.

Size: 136 mm/5.3 ins. across

Culture: Chinese, Shipwreck ceramic

Date: c. 1690 A.D.

Provenance: Part of Lot 980, Christie’s Sale The Vung Tau Cargo, Chinese Export Porcelain, 7-8 April 1992, Amsterdam. Previously with Harrods, Knightsbridge, London.

Notes: The Vung Tau shipwreck was a Chinese vessel discovered by fishermen close to the islands of Con Dao off the south coast of Vietnam. It was bound from China to Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) with a substantial cargo of Chinese porcelain ultimately bound for European markets. The cargo comprising a total of 48,288 items of Qing Dynasty blue-and-white porcelain and other artefacts was recovered in 1990-1991 and divided between the salvors and the Vietnamese Government. Christie’s sold 28,000 pieces of porcelain from the wreck in Amsterdam in 1992.

References: Flecker, M. 1992. Excavation of an oriental vessel of c. 1690 off Con Dao, Vietnam. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 21, 221-244.