The samples recovered from the shipwrecked cargo are exclusively Chinese ceramics, in the main blue and white porcelain, and all assessed by experts to be excellent examples of Kangxi pottery. Their quality indicates that they were manufactured in the famous porcelain centre of Jingdezhen, in the Jiangxi Province. Jingdezhen kilns have made porcelain over two millennia, beginning in the Han Dynasty period. Blue and white porcelain was the most famous product of Jingdezhen, and reached the height of its technical excellence in the early Qing Dynasty. The distinctive, high quality cobalt blue colouring of the Kangxi period is referred to as ‘gem blue’ or ‘kingfisher blue’, and is purer and brighter than that of Ming Dynasty wares.
Kangxi Meiping Vase from the Blue-Chrysanthemum-Wreck
A blue and white glazed ceramic meiping vase, with a bell-shaped lid and knop handle. The four panels of the body are painted with different designs of rockwork and flowers, such as chrysanthemum, peach blossoms, and peonies. Four ornament medallions with scroll works decorate the shoulder, linked by auspicious clouds. Meiping (literally meaning, “plum vase”) refers to the shape of the vase, being the shape characteristically used to display plum branches with blossoms.
Period: Kangxi Period, Qing Dynasty
Provenance: From the ‘Blue Chrysanthemum Wreck’; lost in the South China sea, late 17th century AD, recovered 2014.
Condition: Very fine; top of neck chipped around rim on one side; light dulling of glazed surfaces due to seawater exposure.