Discovering Asia's ceramic development

The Singtai ship (+/- 1550)

Sukhothai underglaze bowl with star motif, diameter 15cm
Side view of the star bowl
Coiled jars, heights 11-15cm, probably from Singburi
Sukhothai covered jar, diameter 10cm
Jar, height 11cm, with lid, diameter 9cm
Sealed jar with four ringhandles, height 14cm

This wreck was discovered in 53 metres of water, 12 nautical miles from the nearest island. Only the surface of the site has been investigated, with a few ceramic artefacts recovered. The ship appears to be of South China Sea type, and approximately 22 metres in length. During the few dives on the site (in very limited visibility), hundreds of large Singburi storage jars were noticed - similar to jars on the Xuande site. These may have been the main cargo.

Some Sukhothai and Sisatchanalai underglaze products were found, but as already noted, no celadon. Maybe blue-and-white, by now being exported in volume from China, had changed the competitive balance and forced the Thais to modify their product?

The Singtai could be contemporary with the Xuande, but seems likely to be slightly later. The star motifs on the Sukhothai bowl shown top left, for example, are stamped. Solar whorl designs on other bowls, like those on the Xuande, are hand-painted.

Sisatchanalai underglaze covered boxes (top right) and bottles were found on both ships. No plates or dishes have been found in the Xuande or Singtai cargos.

Some other Sisatchanalai ware on this wreck is unusual. The potiche or covered jar shown bottom right has a brown glaze, which as far as we know has not been seen elsewhere, although the same shape has been found with an opaque white glaze. Some jarlets are spotted with brown glaze. Brown-glazed items from Sisatchanalai had previously been found on the Turiang.

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