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CHINESE, QING DYNASTY

Covered Butter Tub

1750-1751

Hand-painted porcelain

3 in. H x 4 1/2 in. Dm (7.6 cm H x 11.4 cm Dm)

$2,200.00

Salvaged from the bottom of the South China Sea by Captain Michael Hatcher, this Chinese export porcelain butter tub is a testament to the complexity of an object’s movement through time and space. Commissioned from Chinese artisans by traders from the Dutch East India Company, the covered dish was intended to arrive in Northern Europe by way of the Geldermalsen in 1752. After 16 days into its journey, however, the ship crashed into a reef and sank in the South China Sea; the cargo was never delivered. Over two centuries later, Captain Michael Hatcher discovered and salvaged the Geldermalsen’s cargo in a rather cinematic treasure hunt, through which this dish was recovered and finally reached its Dutch destination through a sale at Christie’s Amsterdam.

Salvaged from the bottom of the South China Sea by Captain Michael Hatcher, this Chinese export porcelain butter tub is a testament to the complexity of an object’s movement through time and space. Commissioned from Chinese artisans by traders from the Dutch East India Company, the covered dish was intended to arrive in Northern Europe by way of the Geldermalsen in 1752. After 16 days into its journey, however, the ship crashed into a reef and sank in the South China Sea; the cargo was never delivered. Over two centuries later, Captain Michael Hatcher discovered and salvaged the Geldermalsen’s cargo in a rather cinematic treasure hunt, through which this dish was recovered and finally reached its Dutch destination through a sale at Christie’s Amsterdam.

This object is included in

Condition

Salvaged condition, with one handle missing.

We do not recommend cleaning or restoration, as the current condition speaks to an important stage in this object’s life.

For a detailed condition report, please contact us.

Curator’s Note

This butter tub’s production can be precisely dated to 1750-1751: Chinese porcelains were produced two to three years prior to their export in order to allow plenty of time for the completion of these large custom orders. The Geldermalsen sank in 1752, thus allowing for an estimated production date for its porcelain cargo of two years prior.

Provenance

Collection Mrs Marianne L. Dreesmann-van der Spek, Laren, inv. no J003

Collection Mrs Hetti T.G. von der Gablentz-Blanche Koelensmid, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Christie’s, The Hatcher Porcelain Cargoes, 28th April 1986, lot 3252b

This object is included in

Salvaged condition, with one handle missing.

We do not recommend cleaning or restoration, as the current condition speaks to an important stage in this object’s life.

For a detailed condition report, please contact us.

This butter tub’s production can be precisely dated to 1750-1751: Chinese porcelains were produced two to three years prior to their export in order to allow plenty of time for the completion of these large custom orders. The Geldermalsen sank in 1752, thus allowing for an estimated production date for its porcelain cargo of two years prior.

Collection Mrs Marianne L. Dreesmann-van der Spek, Laren, inv. no J003

Collection Mrs Hetti T.G. von der Gablentz-Blanche Koelensmid, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Christie’s, The Hatcher Porcelain Cargoes, 28th April 1986, lot 3252b

This item ships free to the continental US, and globally for a flat-rate fee of $100.

All objects are packed with utmost care by our team of expert fine art shippers. All items are shipped with parcel insurance.

For more information on our shipping policies, please visit our FAQ Page.

All of our objects look even more stunning in person!

However, in case you are not satisfied with your purchase, we are willing to accept returns.

For more information on our return policies, please visit our FAQ page.

This item ships free to the continental US, and globally for a flat-rate fee of $100.

All objects are packed with utmost care by our team of expert fine art shippers. All items are shipped with parcel insurance.

For more information on our shipping policies, please visit our FAQ Page.

All of our objects look even more stunning in person!

However, in case you are not satisfied with your purchase, we are willing to accept returns.

For more information on our return policies, please visit our FAQ page.

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