Very Rare Glass Used by the Captain and Officers of the Geldermalsen ‘Nanking Cargo’ Shipwreck
Very Rare Fragments of Fine Glass Vessels from the Geldermalsen, used before Sunday January 4th 1752. These items were sold in Christie’s Amsterdam in 1986, under the made up name ‘The Nanking Cargo’, see references. There were only three lots of fine glass vessels, 1093-A, 1093-B and this group 1093-C. We are offering the fragment from 1093-C with matched extant pieces, the pieces from the Geldermalsen comprising two fragmentary wine glasses, a based of a (blow-moulded?) beaker, and a section of a moulded salt. Fine dining was, of course, for the privileged Captain and officers of the V.O.C. ship, the Geldermalsen, the regular crew would have eaten in a very much more basic way. It seems extraordinary that such fine fragile vessels were used onboard, presumably they were stored very safely when not in use. Presumably, the refined quality of the glass was meant to reflected on the quality and rank of the captain as well as his immediate circle. It is highly likely that Jan Morel, the Geldermalsen’s captain, would have used these objects while onboard. Captain Jan Morel, 33 years old, his many Dutch sailors and sixteen Englishmen set sail from Canton. On Monday January 3rd 1752 the Geldermalsen on its way to the Netherlands hit a reef and sank. The survivors struggled in to a barge and long boat, reaching Batavia in eight days. The wreck held a most valuable cargo of tea, as well as Chinese silks and textiles. All now lost. The vast porcelain cargo, as well as gold has survived under the sea. Tea was the real reason for the journey, ceramics accounting for only five per cent of the total value. The loss of the Geldermalsen cost the Dutch East India Company the V.O.C. 900.000 guilders. However, the porcelain from the sister ship the Amstelveen sold for far more than normal because it now carried all the porcelain to be sold in the Netherlands that year. Glass is unsurprisingly one of the rarest of all types of material to be recovered from any shipwreck. Since these fragments were sold, someone has found matching glasses ; two glasses and two beakers. The fragments and the extant pieces are Dutch, the air-twist wine glasses are very light, typical of Dutch glass of the period. The fragment of a salt is probably Dutch, after a silver shape.
See Below For More Photographs and References.
- Fragmentary as found on the wreck of the Geldermalsen, with extant pieces from the same era which are in very good condition.
- The wine glasses in good condition ; 16.7 cm (6 1/2 inches).
- Illustrated in the auction catalogue : 'Additional lots' separate to the main catalogue, Nanking Cargo Chinese Export Porcelain and Gold, Christie's Amsterdam from 28th April to 2 May 1986.
- Stock number
- These are not illustrated in the standard works about the Nanking Cargo as they were late discoveries and only made to the 'Additional Lots' leaflet, illustrated in the auction catalogue : 'Additional lots' separate to the main catalogue, Nanking Cargo Chinese Export Porcelain and Gold, Christie's Amsterdam from 28th April to 2 May 1986.
Rare Private Trade or Use by Officers of the Geldermalsen : Porcelain From The Nanking Cargo.
Robert McPherson Antiques - Sold Archive.