Tales from the Deep is based on the story of a shipwreck discovered by fishermen in 1998, off the Ca Mau peninsular in
The junk was carrying thousands of pieces of Chinese porcelain, probably ferrying them between
Canton ( Guangzhou) and the Dutch trading post of Batavia (now ). It is clear that much of this porcelain was destined for sale at European ports such as Jakarta London or ; some pieces are decorated with elements of traditional Dutch fishing villages, but executed in the Chinese style. As well as this intermingling of decorative influences, there were objects of European form, such as beer mugs. Amsterdam
Saucer, c.1725 (c) Geffrye Museum, London
Tea bowl, c.1725 (c) Geffrye Museum, London
The tea bowl and saucer pictured above were probably made in the city of
Jingdezhen, , which is famous for its porcelain production. Their decoration shows a scene in a garden with a pavilion and three figures, a man in military clothing walking with a woman, and a man in scholarly official robes emerging from behind the pavilion. China
Even more excitingly, families taking part in our Tales of the Deep activity will be able to handle a tea bowl recovered from the wreck. Children can then make their own shadow puppets to retell the ship’s story.
Find more information about the tea bowl and saucer pictured in the Geffrye’s collections online here.