Many shipwrecks have been discovered over the centuries that contained cargoes filled with ceramics. Today, those valuables offer collections of online pots that were once found buried at sea, some in pristine condition, and others in a fragile state that needed restoring.
Ancient maritime trading was a considerable investment and high risk for merchants in times void of insurance and emergency sea rescues. Every journey made was all or nothing; if a ship was in distress, the crew and passengers had little hope. Cargoes were packed to use every square inch of available storage space and sometimes the size of the ceramic loads were staggering, like in the case of the Hoi An shipwreck. It was discovered in the nineties and estimated to date back to the 15th century. Over a quarter million pottery items were uncovered.
These complex and tragic stories lead us to the present day where, thanks to archaeological explorations, antiques have made their way from the bottom of the sea to pot collections. Antique pots are valued based on their age and quality and make a distinctive objet d’art for discerning gardeners.
The types of pots available for purchase are culturally diverse and possess their own unique history. Relics, vases, and artefacts have been found from the Egyptian, Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Empires, as well as the Chinese dynasties, and Viking and Britannic societies. The most recent find was off the shores of Cyprus where an ancient wreck lay, loaded with ceramics.
The vast range of pots for sale include earthenware, porcelain, and 15th Century Celadon Ware, which a certain type of glazed ceramic from China, used in the 7th Century. The Chinese believed Celadon had magical powers and would change colour if danger were nearby. The allure of sunken treasures is influenced by both their origin and their fate.
While fantastical tales of pirates discovering sunken gold and chests of valuable gems are captivating, it’s the simple, practical items, which stood the test of time that have true appeal. Ceramics that were fired and glazed at high temperatures were unaffected for many an era, sitting beneath the silt, in the depths of the ocean. Notable shipwrecks such as the Turiang (c. 1370) and Nanking Cargo (c. 1750) spurred interest in collectible wreckage ceramics, many of which are now sold as pots online.
Underwater archaeology and deep-sea diving techniques have evolved enabling us to reach inaccessible parts of the oceans and help uncover the forgotten. Through these advancements, many different types of ceramics have been identified, extending our knowledge about the worlds that came before us. With the discovery of shipwrecks, in particular, the Nanking Cargo, pure gold ingots mostly unknown to the West, along with 100,000 pieces of Chinese porcelain and dozens of small and large jars and containers surfaced and it became on the biggest European auction of pots this century.
Although these ancient ceramics symbolize the significant loss of human life, buying shipwreck pots online for the modern garden offers a peaceful resting place for an enduring treasure.