A blue and white porcelain bowl, with the character “phuc” (wealth) written in centre. Decorated with scroll band inside the flared rim, the exterior encircled by a continuous flower and leafy scroll meander and five petals above the tall ring foot.
This porcelain comes from the Hoi An shipwreck, sank in the late 15th-early 16th century. Fishermen discovered the wreck in the early 90s, in the open seas off Cu Lao Cham Island, known as the most capricious waters in Vietnam. The government soon realised the importance of the cargo and got involved, ordering underwater excavations (1997-1999). Indeed, more than 150,000 objects were found. Produced in the middle 15th century, these ceramics comes from the Hai Duong province (North Vietnam), which is know to be the biggest production centre of ceramics and porcelain of medieval Vietnam. At that time, the Ming dynasty in China decreed a ban on maritime exports to Southeast Asia and other countries, leaving the opportunity for Vietnam to foster its ceramics and porcelain production.
Ceramics from the Hoi An Hoard are nowadays known to be the most precious and complete representations of Vietnamese artisanship in glazed ceramics.
Late 15th-Early 16th Century
Ref: Butterfields, Treasures From The Hoi An Hoard – Important Vietnamese Ceramics from a Late 15th / Early 16th Century Cargo, Volumes 1 & 2, lot 1467