A Chinese Shipwreck (THE TEK SING) Porcelain Bowl with Shou Characters | Sank February 6th, 1822

This is a Chinese blue and white circular bowl decorated with a block print technique with a design of shou characters on lotus petals alternating with an elaborate stylised flower.  

The Tek Sing "True Star" was a large three-masted Chinese ocean-going junk which sank on February 6, 1822 in an area of the South China Sea known as the Belvidere Shoals. The vessel was 50 meters in length, 10 meters wide, and weighed about a thousand tons. Its tallest mast was estimated to be 90 feet in height. The ship was manned by a crew of 200 and had approx. 1600 passengers. 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".

On May 12, 1999, British marine salvor Michael Hatcher discovered the wreck of the Tek Sing in an area of the South China Sea north of Java, east of Sumatra and south of Singapore. His crew raised about 350,000 pieces of the ship's cargo in what is described as the largest sunken cache of Chinese porcelain ever recovered. Human remains were also found, but they were not disturbed as most of Hatcher's crew, being Indonesian and Chinese, believed that bad luck would befall any who disturbed the dead.

The Tek Sing's recovered cargo was auctioned at Nagel Auctions in Stuttgart, Germany in November 2000.

In fine condition with the usual encrustations as a result of being long submerged.

Size: 144 x 60 mm

Provenance: Ex. private collection, UK. Purchased at UK auction. *Originally auctioned in Stuttgart, Germany in November 2000. Nagel Auctions label and certificate supplied.

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