In 1999, enormous quantities of porcelain were salvaged from one of the last Chinese Junks, the Tek Sing. The ship, measuring 60 metres in length and over 10 metres in width, was found by a private treasure-salvaging company operating in the South China Sea. Over 350,000 pieces of porcelain were recovered and auctioned in Stuttgart, Germany. The invaluable cargo, a source of reference for early 19th century Dehua blue and white wares, was dispersed and the wreck destroyed.
The Tek Sing wreck could have given testimony to one of the biggest catastrophes in the history of seafaring: the sinking of this large junk, that occurred on February 1822 on a journey between the port of Amoy (now Xiamen, China) and Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia), took about 1,500 people– mostly Chinese immigrants – to the bottom of the sea.