Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia: Towards a Chronology of Thai Trade Ware

by Leonard H. Le Blanc III

by Roxanna M. Brown.

River Books, 2009, 206 pages. www.thesiamsociety.org

River Books, 2009, 206 pages. www.thesiamsociety.org

I once read in an expensive book on valuable Chinese porcelain pieces that the Chinese did not keep their best ceramics at home. They exported them all. I would have thought the bargain basement, clearance sale, low -rent knock-off ‘Pottery Barn’ pieces would have been shipped overseas. But not all the best stuff was exported.

‘The Ming gap and shipwreck ceramics in Southeast Asia: Towards a Chronology of Thai trade Ware’ is a fascinating historical portrait on a little known aspect of SE Asian trade in porcelain wares. The author details the time before the 14th century the Chinese had 100% of the pottery trade and then it wildly fluctuated, sometimes exporting no or few pottery pieces. This is called the ‘Ming Gap’ (1352-1487). Then trade came all roaring back after 1573. Doing extensive marine archaeology on area shipwrecks, the author details these periods of trade. An important work on porcelain and international maritime trade. For marine archaeologists and pottery collectors. 5 stars.

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