Chinese for export
about 1690


Overall: 3.2 x 4.4 x 12.4 cm (1 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 4 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




About 1690, sent from China to Indonesia on a trading ship, which wrecked off the coast of Vietnam [see note]. Between 1989 and 1992, recovered by the government of Vietnam as part of the Vung Tau Cargo salvage operation and consigned for sale; April 7, 1992 Vung Tau Cargo sale (sale 2167), Christie’s, Amsterdam, lot 461 [spoon], 877 [dish]. September 14, 1992, sold by Andrew Dando Antiques, Bath, England, to Gretchen E. Viall (d. 2016), Providence, RI; by inheritance to her son, William A. Viall III, Providence; 2016, gift of William Viall to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 9, 2016)

NOTE: This was recovered from the wreck of a trading ship that was found in 1989 several miles away from Con Dao Island, about 100 nautical miles from Vung Tau, Vietnam. The ship was an Asian trading vessel, almost certainly bound around 1690 for Indonesia, and possibly to Jakarta, which served as the administrative center of the Dutch East India Company. The cargo may have been eventually intended for points along the Netherlandish seaboard. Under the authority of the government of Vietnam, the Vietnam Salvage Corporation excavated the wreck beginning in 1989 and sold part of the cargo publicly in 1992.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. William A. Viall III in memory of Gretchen E. Viall