A set of five blue and white dishes, Qing dynasty, Kangxi (1662-1722). 'The Ca Mau Shipwreck'.
A set of five blue and white dishes, qing dynasty, kangxi (1662 1722). 'the ca mau shipwreck'
A set of five blue and white dishes, qing dynasty, kangxi (1662 1722). 'the ca mau shipwreck'
A set of five blue and white dishes, qing dynasty, kangxi (1662 1722). 'the ca mau shipwreck'

Decorated in underglaze blue with flowers. Four of them with cappuciner brown backside. Diameter 11-11,5 cm.

Wear. Cracks. Shipwreck.

Droit de suite: No

The Ca Mau shipwreck was a Chinese ocean going junk, almost certainly en route from Canton (now Guangzhou) to the Dutch trading port of Batavia (now Jakarta). Disaster struck of the Ca Mau peninsular, there was a fire on board so severe that some of the porcelain was fused together. There were a few wine cups recovered bearing the mark of the Emperor Yongzheng who reigned from 1723 to 1735. By this time tea and coffee was the rage throughout Europe and the principal traders were the British 'Honourable East India Company' and the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC). With the demand for tea came demand for porcelain by which to drink it and so most of what they imported in these year was tea wares.(Amsterdam 2007, pp.8-9)

The Ca Mau shipwreck was discovered by fishermen working of the Ca Mau peninsular when their nets snagged on it. When they realised the porcelain was saleable they began dredging up as much as possible. Once the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Information realised what was happening they moved in quickly to secure the wreck site. The excavation was lead by the Curator of The National Museum of Vietnamese culture. Most pieces not only have the Sotheby’s auction label but also the 'CM' reference number of the Vietnamese conservators. In all, 130,000 pieces were recovered and 76,000 of the finer condition pieces were selected to be sold as 'Made in Imperial China. 76,000 pieces of Chinese Export Porcelain from the Ca Mau Shipwreck, circa 1725' by Sotheby’s Amsterdam on 29, 30 & 31 January 2007. (Amsterdam 2007, pp.6-7)

Related content

Historical shipwrecks with cargoes of porcelain and pottery are perfect time capsules if properly excavated and researched. Frozen in time, shipwrecks provide an accurate insight into ancient maritime trade and the goods traded at the time when the ship was lost. The cargos tells us about the most popular designs and shapes of the time and helps us with dating porcelain. Bukowskis are happy to be able to present this collection brought together with artifacts from some of the most important shipwrecks excavated in modern time such as for example Hatcher, Royal Nanhai, Nan King Cargo, Desaru, Cau Ma, Vung Tau Cargo etc.

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Cecilia Nordström
Cecilia Nordström
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