Antique Chinese Blue White Swatow Plate
AGE: – 1822 A.D.
CONSTRUCTION: – Porcelain
HEIGHT: – 2.5cm
Antique Chinese Blue White Swatow Plate with Stylized painting depicting a mythical creature on the interior from the Tek Sing shipwreck.
After reading Hursburgh’s book written in 1848 with reference to the sinking of the Tek Sing cargo ship in the South China Sea, Michael Hatcher, a salvage expert started his search for the Tek Sing. The wreck was eventually discovered in 1999. Its cargo of over 350,000 pieces of porcelain bound for the South East Asian market was brought up from the depths for all to see.
The Tek Sing translated means “True Star”, was a large trading junk, weighing over 1000 tons and 165 feet long. It departed from Amoy in Southern China carrying the largest quantity of porcelain of any known wreck of the time. The ship was bound for Jakarta in Indonesia, from there its cargo would have been distributed throughout South East Asia.Read More
The Tek Sing also carried 1600 immigrants and almost 400 crew and merchants. The immigrants were all Chinese seeking a new life due to the economic problems in China in the early part of the 19th Century, which eventually became a prelude to the first Opium War.
During the voyage an ill-fated decision by the Ship’s captain to take a short-cut through the Gaspar Straits resulted in catastrophic damage to the ship. Almost 90 percent of those on board drowned at sea and its cargo of porcelain was swallowed up by the turbulent waters of the South China Sea.
190 passengers managed to survive and were picked up the next morning by James Pearl. This event was documented in Hursburgh’s “Directions for sailing to the East Indies”, 1848.