The Hoi An Hoard, a recently discovered shipwreck, was tightly packed with numbers of finely painted ceramic items, many in excellent repair despite being in the sea for five hundred years. Here is a pretty blue and white covered box of persimmon shape, the moulded stalk surrounded by a border of painted lotus petals, the body with grasses and birds (the chich chòe - the Vietnamese name presumably deriving from the sound of the birds). From the Hoi An shipwreck, Vietnam, 15th century. It is in excellent condition and the images do not do this charming little piece justice. There is some unevenness in the surface colouration though this is not surprising considering how long it has spent lying in the sea. This is a remarkable survivor for its date and demonstrates that this country was creating exquisite ceramic works of art from a very early date. It is a miracle for such items to have survived and it has its full documentation on the base. 2 ins (5cm) x 2 ins (5cm) x 1.5 ins (4cm). Weight 68 grams. This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 17.
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