Bookmark and Share

Captain's Log

November 2007

How we source our Shipwreck Treasure

Gary Waskett examining antique porcelain artefacts

Gary Waskett examining antique porcelain artefacts

Some of our best-loved products are the porcelain artefacts recovered from the wrecks of ancient ships such as the Tek Sing. Gary Waskett is our resident expert on shipwrecks and treasure. This month, he went to Malaysia to inspect rare pieces of porcelain from a Ming dynasty shipwreck. These artefacts will feature in a forthcoming Nauticalia catalogue and will be highly sought-after.


Gary (right) is pictured talking to Sten Sjostrand who has salvaged nine shipwrecks in South-east Asia – dating from c1100 to 1830. Sten works very closely with the Malaysian government, and has donated a large proportion of his finds to their national museums.


Salvage is a dangerous and very expensive occupation, with the turbulent tropical weather only allowing a couple of month’s exploration each year. Furthermore, discovering the wrecks can take months of surveying, and success is not guaranteed. However, some wrecks have been discovered by chance, as local fishermen occasionally find artefacts in their nets.


Perhaps the most important aspect of this salvage work is exploring the archaeology, as much information can be gleaned about the people, international trade, and construction of the ships at the time. Each wreck is salvaged with the agreement of the government concerned and, as part of the licence, the wreck site is surveyed in minute detail. Every ship will tell you something different, that you didn’t know before.


In the last seven years, Gary has been involved in handling cargoes from many shipwrecks, and has built close working relationships with many of the world’s salvage experts. For our customers, it is important to carefully select the best examples - those that have been preserved under the mud, intact, with beautiful designs.


Treasure from the cargo of more than five wrecks is now represented on our website. Click here to see all our Shipwreck Treasure.


Click here to read the story of the Tek Sing.


Send this Article to a Friend Return to Captain's Log Menu
Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

If you would like us to send e-mails about special offers, new products and other Nauticalia news, some exclusive to the Internet, please complete the form below.
* fields are mandatory

To stop receiving such e-mails, please send an e-mail to:

Loading ....