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Parrot and Peach Bowl, Shipwreck Salvaged Hoi An Hoard, c. 1450Diameter: 4 1/4 inches. Price 1.400,00 USD (1.043,65 EUR) in ebay.

Condition: Beautifully preserved. Unrestored. 

A finely painted and preserved antique parrot bowl, officially salvaged and recorded from the famous Hoi An hoard shipwreck, dating to around 1450 AD. 

This beautiful bowl is full of exotic vibrancy and is amongst the most playful of all the Hoi An wares. The bowl formed as a peach and decorated with a leaf to the exterior, a parrot is curled around to the left, its details finely rendered and its beak resting on the side of the rim, as if pecking into the flesh of the fruit. Virtually unknown outside those recovered from the wreck, they appear to have had two possible functions; either as a drinking bowl or a container for sauces and condiments.

This rare piece has a wonderful, romantic provenance. It was excavated from the important Hoi-An shipwreck. The Hoi-An was a huge, overloaded trading ship that sank in the mid 15th Century, probably due to a catastrophic typhoon. The ship was carrying a substantial cargo of High Quality Vietnamese Ming export porcelain. We know that the Hoi An wares were produced in Kilns near modern-day Hanoi and were probably bound for the European Market before the ship was cruelly destroyed and sunk 250 feet into the cold waters of the South China Sea. The fascinating story of the Hoi-An and its recovery has been made into a best-selling novel by Frank Pope, entitled Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam.

In contrast to many unprovenanced Hoi An pieces on the market, this ceramic has been officially recorded by the Vietnamese authorities (VISAL), whose sticker is affixed to the artifact.  The recent ratification of the UNESCO convention by South East Asian countries will effectively put a halt to all future shipwreck salvage operations.  Consequently, legitimately recorded pieces such as the present example are finite in supply and currently represent a fantastic investment opportunity.