Trading treasures

A jewelry company in partnership with a marine archaeological firm takes the small, “unsexy” bits of pottery sherds and makes them into designer earrings and necklaces. The proceeds from the sale go on to fund future archaeological expeditions. I think purists will howl at the idea of “sherds-for-sale”, but on the other hand, it’s an interesting business model for keeping an independent archaeological investigation company.

22 July 2006 (The Star) – This is an interesting piece, that on the face looks like the sale of archaeological material. A jewelry company in partnership with a marine archaeological firm takes the small, “unsexy” bits of pottery sherds and makes them into designer earrings and necklaces. The proceeds from the sale go on to fund future archaeological expeditions. I think purists will howl at the idea of “sherds-for-sale”, but on the other hand, it’s an interesting business model for keeping an independent archaeological investigation company (of which I think there are pitifully few in SEA) afloat.

The Star, 22 July 2006

Trading Treasures

Justine Vaz and Ben Rongen of Tradewind Treasures are selling pendants, brooches, rings and bracelets consisting of blue and white 17th Century Ming and 19th Century Qing porcelain shards set in silver.

Tradewind Treasures works with Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd, a company working closely with the Malaysian Department of Museums and Antiquities to map, research and excavate shipwreck sites in Malaysian waters.

When wrecks are found, a representative set of any porcelain, pottery and other artifacts are kept by the Malaysian Department of Museums and Antiquities. Remaining items are sold to fund future investigations.

Thanks to Tradewind Treasures, the shards that might have taken a poor second place to items found intact, are now rejoicing in a new career of their own. The range designed exclusively for Eastern Treasures is housed at Aseana Galleria, KLCC.


Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells
Oriental trade ceramics in Southeast Asia, 10th to 16th century: Selected from Australian collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Bodor Collection by J. Guy
Chinese Celadons and Other Related Wares in Southeast Asia by the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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