Treasure from Wanli

When a Malaysian fisherman found a large blue and white jar encrusted with coral in his nets in 1997, little did he know that six years later, it would lead to the discovery of a ship originally laden with rare Chinese porcelain from the fabled Ming Dynasty.

It became known as the ‘Wanli’ shipwreck after the porcelain recovered was found to have been made in the famous kilns of Jingdezhen during the reign of Emperor Wanli (1573-1620).

Showing 1 to 2 of 2 products.

Showing 1 to 2 of 2 products.

Having bought the jar from the fisherman, well respected historian and salvage expert Sten Sjostrand eventually located the wreck site in 2003, six miles off the east coast of Malaysia.


Little of the ship remained intact, most of the cannon were missing and almost all of the porcelain had been damaged by a huge explosion. Gradually, the archaeology revealed the most likely scenario. The ship was thought to have been Portuguese owned, and was possibly attacked by a rival Dutch ship and set alight. When the fire reached the ammunition store, the stern was literally torn off by the resulting explosion, and the remains sank to a depth of 120 feet.

Painstaking research showed that from an original cargo of some 37,000 pieces of porcelain, only 800 were recovered intact, most have been bought by museums and private collectors. We have managed to acquire 189 pieces, most of them the last of their style in the cargo. Each has been hand-selected, and from our experience with previous cargos, we expect demand to outstrip supply – so order quickly to avoid disappointment. Each piece bears the original salvage labels, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.



Sun, 22nd January 2017
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