Fine Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Porcelain Dish - Binh Thuan Shipwreck
This blue & white "Swatow" porcelain dish was made during the Wanli Reign (1573 - 1620) of the Ming Dynasty. It is coated in a thick glaze with underglaze blue decoration featuring the "double phoenix" pattern, two phoenixes standing facing each other, presumably male and female, surrounded by foliage and blossoms. Swatow, or Zhangzhou ceramics, were often exported to the South East Asian market and beyond. A common feature of such ware is the sand / kiln grit that adheres to the glaze on the underside. Also, like many large "Swatow" dishes, it is a little warped.
Diameter 26.75 cm (10.5 inches). This dish has no restoration or repair and a good sonorous ring when tapped; a superior example of a Binh Thaun dish in fine condition.
Provenance/ information: This dish was excavated from the "Binh Thuan" wreck for which there is evidence suggesting it was the junk owned by a merchant, I Sin Ho, that sank in 1608 off the south of Vietnam on its way from China to Johore. whilst transporting a cargo for the Dutch.
The "Binh Thuan" shipwreck was first discovered in 2001. The wreck was subsequently excavated by Martime Explorations in conjunction with the Vietnam Salvage Corporation (Visal), the Binh Thuan People's Committee, and the Ministry of Culture. The cargo from this wreck was sold in a prestigious sale at Christie's in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2004. The quality of the dishes from this wreck varied greatly from broken and damaged dishes, or intact but degraded dishes with poor colour, to superior examples in perfect condition ("A+"). This dish was from the finest "A+" category.
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