Vung Tau (1690)

Vung Tau cargo

In June 1990, the cargo of the wreck Vung Tau, which was approximately 15 km away from the Hon Cau Island, at the depth of 40m and buried in the sand from 0.6m to 1.0m deep, was recovered.

The wreck measured 32.71m long and approximately 9m wide.  It was found to be the hull of a lorcha, a ship of combined Eastern and Western influence, and the first ever found. The wreck has been dated to 1690. From an analysis of the cargo it seems that the ship was bound from China to Batavia where the bulk of the ceramics would have been transshipped to a Dutch East India Company vessel for the onward voyage to Holland.

The recovered cargo consisted of over 48,000 ceramics, mostly Kangxi blue-and-white porcelain from the kilns of Jingdezhen, and an impressive collection of white-ware. There were also many pieces of provincial ware, and a wide variety of non-ceramic artefacts ranging from ship gear to personal possessions.

The wreck was commercially emptied. Christie's, the British auction house, selected 28,000 pieces of porcelain for auction in Amsterdam in 1992. The Vũng Tàu Museum in Vietnam houses a representative sample of the artifacts. The remainder of the ceramics were divided between the recoverer Hallstrom and the Vietnamese government.

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flag Viet Nam
Capital: Hanoi
Region: Asia and the Pacific

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