A Hatcher Cargo Transitional Porcelain Octagonal Baluster Jar. Late Ming or Early Qing c.1643. The Neck Decorated with a Border of `Teeth` and Overlapping Lappets Reserved in Blue with Scrolling Flowers Left in the White. The Central Register is Decorated with `Floating` Flowering Branches, Including Orchids, Plum and Lotus. Below a Band of Stiff Leaves Pointing Downwards.
Height : 36 cm (14 inches)
Fine And Important Late Ming And Transitional Porcelain, recently recovered from an Asian vessel in the South China Sea. Property of Captain Michael Hatcher. Christie`s Amsterdam 14th March 1984. Label to base.
Condition: In excellent condition, a few minor scratches to the glaze. The glaze has some degradation to prolonged immersion in salt water. A few minor firing faults.
Transitional jars of this type can be seen in 17th Century Dutch Paintings by artists such as Simon Luttichuys (1610-1661 or 62) and J.D. de Heem (1606-1684). Dr. A.I. Spriggs in his paper read to the Oriental Ceramic Society `Oriental Porcelain in Western Paintings` illustrated a painting by C.Cruys containing a similar vessel see : Transactions of the O.C.S. Volume 36, plate 73d.
The shape and design are of a type made only for export. T.Volker in `Porcelain and the Dutch East India Company` suggests that this form corresponds to the "Pots for Preserves" ordered from Jousit in 1643, Described as "Octagonal and Round" or "Half Round, Half Octagonal".
For Transitional jars and covers pf this type from the Hatcher Cargo see our `Sold Items` numbers, 19300, 19301, 19302, 21851, 21852 and a pair of jars 13611.
The Hatcher Cargo :
The Hatcher Cargo was the first porcelain cargo from a shipwreck to come on to the market. It was sold in several auctions in Christie`s Amsterdam in 1984 and 1985. It remains one of the most important cargoes of shipwreck ceramics ever recovered, despite the lack of historical evidence recorded by the salvage team. Two porcelain covers dated 1643 helped date the wreck but this needed corroborating to give a firm date of the wreck and it`s cargo. The dating of the porcelain from the Hatcher Cargo is based on several elements. Firstly, the ceramics recovered form a coherent group, in other words they appear to all have been made at the same time. Secondly comparative dating was used to corroborate the date of the porcelain. For example, blue and white porcelain dishes decorated with a coiled serpent recovered from the Hatcher Cargo match an important dish from the fall of the Ming dynasty, formerly in the Percival David Foundation, now at the British Museum London, this dish can be dated to 1644 – 1645. Other comparative dating is also consistent with the presumed date of the porcelain. However, the most important dating reference remains the two covers recovered from the wreck datable by inscription to the spring of 1643. Although the the Ming dynasty officially ended in 1644 the transition from the Ming to the beginning of the Qing was messy and protracted. The porcelain made during this period of civil war and chaos is referred to as `Transitional Porcelain`. It covers the period from the last Ming Emperors until the early years of the Kangxi period, which is normally given a date of about 1620 to 1670 . The Hatcher Cargo is a vital dating tool for this previously poorly understood period of Chinese porcelain production.