Antique Chinese Shipwreck Salvaged Tek Sing Porcelain Spoon - 1822 AD

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  • Item Category: Antiquities
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jul 02, 2014
  • Channel: Auction House

A rare Antique porcelain spoon, salvaged from the fascinating Tek Sing Shipwreck and dating to approximately 1822.

The spoon, of typical form, decorated with thick celadon glaze and with notch on the underside to prevent the utensil from falling into the hot soup! The notch is a feature that was common in antique Chinese spoons but has become lost in their modern equivalents.

The underside of the spoon contains the official Tek Sing treasure sticker and number, confirming the item's provenance and legal status on the art market.

The Tek Sing is probably the most important Antique shipwreck ever discovered. This once magnificent vessel has rightly been compared to that most famous of ships, the Titanic. The Tek Sing, which means "True Star", was a Huge Trading Junk, measuring 165 feet long and weighing over 1000 tonnes. It left from Amoy in Southern China carrying the largest quantity of porcelain known from any wreck. The ship was destined for the port of Jakarta in Indonesia, from where the valuable cargo would be distributed to the lucrative Eastern and European markets. The Tek Sing also carried a human cargo - 1600 immigrants and nearly 400 crew and merchants. The immigrants were all Chinese, hoping to escape the Economic problems of Early 19th Century China, which were a prelude to the first Opium

An ill-fated decision by the Ship's captain to take a short-cut through the Gaspar Strait resulted in catastrophic damage to the ship, the death of 90% of those on board and the complete loss of its porcelain cargo to the cold waters of the South China Sea. The remnants of the Ship and its 190 surviving passengers were discovered the next morning by James Pearl and later recorded in Hursburgh's "Directions for sailing to the East Indies", 1848. The wreck was subsequently forgotten until its rediscovery in 1999 by salvage expert Michael Hatcher, who used Hursburgh's book of 1848 as his starting point! After this momentous discovery the precious porcelain cargo was carefully removed, conserved and legally sold under the authority of the Nagel Tek Sing Treasures cooperative.

ArtAncient Limited is pleased to have acquired an enormous number and significant percentage of the officially recorded Tek Sing cargo. In contrast to many examples that appear on the market, of dubious legality and authenticity, this piece has the original Nagel sticker and inventory number on the underside. This guarantees legitimate provenance (or ownership history), of paramount importance in today's market. The recent ratifications of the UNESCO convention by South East Asian countries, mean that public-private cooperatives, as were required to excavate the Tek Sing cargo and legitimately sell it on the market, are unlikely to ever be repeated.

Ceramics from the Tek Sing wreck can now be found in the worlds top museums, for a similar piece at the British museum, please see the following link .

Length: 4 1/4 inches.

Condition: Intact, Unrestored and in pristine condition. Close inspection reveals areas of beautiful marine encrustations, fascinating evidence of over 185 yeras spent on the South China Seabed.

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