Chinese blue and white circular plate decorated with a mythical creature - shipwrecked from the Tek Sing. The interior is decorated with a stylised depiction of a Chinese phoenix or Fenghuang bird with a surrounding wave pattern possibly representing clouds or air. The glaze dulled from its time underwater, but a nice example of this rarer design. In good condition considering the age and where it was found and has damage to the rim - please look at all the photos.
It has the original Nagel Auctions Tek Sing Treasures auction label attached.
The Tek Sing translated means “True Star”, was a large trading junk, weighing over 1000 ton and 165 feet long. It departed from Amoy in Southern China carrying the largest quantity of porcelain of any known wreck to date. The ship was bound for Jakarta in Indonesia, from there its cargo would have been distributed throughout South East Asia.
The Tek Sing also carried 1600 immigrants and almost 400 crew and merchants. During the voyage an ill-fated decision by the Ship’s captain to take a short-cut through the Gaspar Straits resulted in catastrophic damage to the ship. Almost 90 percent of those on board drowned at sea and its cargo of porcelain was swallowed up by the turbulent waters of the South China Sea.
The great loss of life associated with the sinking has led to the Tek Sing being referred to in modern times as the "Titanic of the East".
Provenance: Private collection, UK. Purchased at UK auction.
Originally auctioned in Stuttgart, Germany in November 2000 by Nagel Auctions - label attached.