Thursday, 23 February 2017

Treasures of the Deep

Horner Antiques on the ground floor of Alfies have an exciting display of porcelain rescued from the seabed. Shipwrecked antiques have long been collectable due to the romance and tragedy associated with found objects.

Over the last few years a number of wrecks have been found in the South China seas off the coast of Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. There are examples from 1430 (Ming Dynasty) through to 1815 - 20 (Ching Dynasty).

Bowl with barnacles

Staining on a bowl which lain next to metal

There are pieces with barnacles that have started to grow on them and the glaze has been eroded by seawater. Where pieces have lain next to metal you can see staining on the porcelain, such as in this piece from Tek Sing which has a stylised peach blossom design.

Tea bowl saucers from different wrecks and periods

Here are two examples of tea bowl saucers from different wrecks and different periods, showing the evolution of style. Both of these are stylised cherry blossom in decoration, one is from the wreck of 'Ca Mau' which sank in 1725, the other from the Tek Sing which sank in 1822.

Spoons from the wreck of the 'Desaru' 

From the wreck of the 'Desaru' which sank off the Johor peninsular, Malaysia, Horner Antiques are very  fortunate to have a pair of spoons, the colour is more vibrant and flo blue in appearance.

Small bowls decorated with a repeating Greek pattern

You will also find small bowls decorated with a repeating Greek pattern and different amounts of glaze loss, this would have happened where the porcelain in the middle of the bowl was more protected from the elements as the packing crates rotted and the cargo settled on to the seabed.

Stand G012-13
Tel: 07748 653 580

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