Ming Dynasty Binh Thuan Shipwreck Dish
AGE: – Wanli Period 1572 – 1620
PLATE DIAMETER:– 28cm
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Chinese Blue and White Swatow Ware Ming Dynasty Binh Thuan shipwreck dish, circa 1608, Wanli period, the Swatow low form bowl with underglaze blue decoration with a double phoenix in the center surrounded by a garden setting. One of the characteristics of Swatow wares was the adhesion of sandy grit on the base.
The Binh Thuan shipwreck sunk during the first decade of the 16th century and was discovered by fishermen in 2001 off the coast of Binh Thuan near the Southern coast of Vietnam when their nets got caught in the wreckage. Around 20,000 blue and white ceramics from Zhengzhou were salvaged on this wreck. Another famous Chinese cargo ship known as the Tek Sing also carrying a variety of blue and white ceramics for export to Indonesia sank on the 6th February 1822 in the South China Sea.
The production centre for Swatow wares originated in the Zhangzhou prefecture with several kiln sites producing provincial porcelains often with boldly painted decoration, these were referred to as Swatow, the name Swatow refers to the Port of Shantou in the southern province of Guangdong, although Swatow wares were not produced in the Port area. The main kiln site manufacturing Swatow ware was in Huaan, with several lesser sites in surrounding areas.
Chinese ceramics were part of an extensive maritime trade to Europe and to other parts of Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, and Malaysia. Swatow ware ceramics were manufactured mainly for export to the Southeast Asian and Japanese markets and were transported by large Chinese junks through the South China Sea where many ships floundered due to the volatility of the region caused by bad weather conditions such as cyclones.