2.2. Qing ceramics and porcelains
a. In Hon Cau vessel
Most cargos in the vessel were Chinese ceramics and porcelains made to Western orders. Many samples were made similar to common house wares in Europe. It found a number of jars and vases with lids, wine bottles, cups, glasses, pots, bowls, plates…. Especially some were made to sets or in a couple such as a couple of a lidded jar and a penholder, a lidded jar and a vase.
Lidded urns, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 17th century
A lidded urn and a vase, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 17th century
Those cobalt ceramic wares are different from others in terms of subjects for decoration as it focuses on Chinese traditional subjects like floral (daisy, orchid, lotus), animals (horse, rabbit, fish, bird), human (horse riding man, boat rowing man, fishing man, young lady in traditional dress). The European style ceramics concentrate on cross line patterns or Dutch style in 17th century.
A cup lid, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 17th century
Glass, Qing, 17th century
European style can also be seen in the lid of cup that paints a King and a Queen holding a scepter, surrounded by 10 squares, where 5 squares are for painting a kneeing man and the others for flower decorations.
Many ceramic wares are made in Fujian, China such as a Kuan Yin statue in 13,5cm height and other smaller statues of small child, white rabbit, dragon…
Plates, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 17th century
Through such decorative patterns, we can say that the date of ceramics found in Hon Cau vessel is under Qing dynasty or around 1690.
b. In Ca Mau vessel (1723-1735)
The ceramic in this vessel has its date back 1732 – 1735. It comes from Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong provinces.
Tea - pot with lid, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 18th century
Tea cup, cobalt ceramic, Qing, 18th century
It finds collections from Guangdong ceramics, such as the pots in a monkey shape with two hands holding the spout where decorated with the peach leaf and fruit. The multi-glazed in white, moss - green, yellow and brown are used in plates, statues, jars.
Censer, cobalt porcelain, Qing, 18th century
Basin, cobalt porcelain, Qing, 18th century
The high quality porcelains are cobalt ones with 17 types including plates, cups, bowls, glasses, pots, censers, basins, urns, vases, kendis, boxes…(199 plates, 181 cups, 73 lids, 25 statues).
We also found some unique wares as never seen, such as censers, cobalt basins and tubs, kendis with human and landscape, or monkey shaped pots. Exclusively, there are some celadon glazed mixed with cobalt ceramics like cups, bowls, vases, censers, boxes and statues, all are Qing’s precious wares.
3. Thai pottery
So far, Thai pottery has been found in 3 shipwrecks in Vietnam including Hon Dam Kiem Giang (1991), Cu Lao Cham (1997-2000) and Phu Quoc (2004).
a. The ancient vessel Hon Dam (Kien Giang)
The number of ceramic wares in Hon Dam is 16.000 pieces according to Dr. Pham Quoc Quan and Nguyen Quoc Hung but only 1248 pieces according to W.Blake and M.Flecker. It includes 13 types of bowls, plates, cups, vases, jar…ranging from small to big size. W. Blake and M. Flecker listed as 706 pieces of jars and 345 pieces for bowls.
Most wares are celadon and brown glazed ceramics originating from Sawankhalok and Sokhothai, northern of Thailand.
Kettle, brown glazed Thai ceramic, 15th century
Plate, celadon glazed, Thai ceramic, 15th century
Bowl, celadon glazed, Thai ceramic, 15th century
b. In the old vessel Cu Lao Cham (Quang Nam)
The cargos in this vessel are mostly Vietnamese ceramics. Thai ceramics are found in few, and can be the ship crew’s stuff.
Urn, black and brown Thai ceramic, 15th century
c. Phu Quoc vessel (Kien Giang)
There was no official excavation to Phu Quoc vessel but objects found have let us know about the existence of a ship loading ceramics and ivories from Thailand.
Celadon plates with lotus decoration, and many jars, yuhuchuns and vases with flaring mouths are typical Thai ceramics.
In general, ceramics in the shipwreck in Vietnamese ocean in the last 10 years contribute to the Silk Road understandings and provide a picture of Vietnamese and Asian ceramics development and cultural trading in the 14th - 18th centuries.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Chien - Deputy Director
English: Tran Trang