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15th c. Hoi An dish with traces of polychrome decoration


Code: FL


H: 4.5cm (1.8")Di: 11.5cm (4.5")

Dating from the 15th century, a small polychrome dish from the Hoi An Hoard (shipwreck cargo).  The dish, now with a chalky glaze from 500 years under the sea, is ornamented with floral motifs and traces of splash green glaze interspersed with evidence of the finely painted iron red criss-cross and arcaded design. On closer inpection, the ghostly traces of the original decoration are just visible on the base and body of the dish. The underside retains the label of provenance and the dish is encrusted with small pieces of mother-of-pearl.  Origin: Vietnam.  Circa 1450-1500.

During the 15th century, off the Hoi An coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea, a trading vessel filled with ceramics vanished without a trace.  It was re-discovered by fishermen in the 1990s.  All pieces unique to the cargo were retained by Vietnamese museums for display.  The rest was sold at auction.