These impressive ceramics were recovered from the Hoi An Shipwreck, which sank in the open seas off Cu Lao Cham Island in the late 15th – early 16th century. Indeed, these were known as the most capricious waters in Vietnam, but when fishermen discovered the wreck in the early 1990s, the government realised the importance of the cargo and ordered underwater excavations take place (from 1997 to 1999). The endeavour was certainly worthwhile, with more than 150,000 objects salvaged. Produced in the mid-15th century, this pottery comes from the Hai Duong province (North Vietnam), which was known as medieval Vietnam’s largest production centre for ceramics and porcelain. At that time, the Ming dynasty in China decreed a ban on maritime exports to Southeast Asia and other countries, which left open the opportunity for Vietnam to foster its own production of ceramics .
Ceramics from the Hoi An Hoard are nowadays regarded as the most precious and complete representations of Vietnamese artisanship in glazed ceramics.