Identifying ‘Islamic Motif’ on Chinese blue and white Porcelain recovered from the 15th century shipwrecks in the Philippines

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Identifying ‘Islamic Motif’ on Chinese blue and white Porcelain recovered from the 15th century shipwrecks in the Philippines


This research is based on the raw data of a Master’s thesis that aims to identify Islamic motifs on Chinese blue-and-white porcelains recovered from the 15th century archaeological sites in the Philippines. A stylistic analysis of Chinese porcelains recovered from both underwater and terrestrial sites will be conducted so that the main aims of the thesis will be attained. The Master’s thesis aims to answer questions that concern: a) the participation of the Philippines during the 15th century maritime trade; and b) determine the possible indications of the presence and/or absence of the porcelains. Large amounts of Chinese ceramics have been found in Philippine sites dating from the late 9th to the early 12th centuries, and the 14th-18th centuries. Some Chinese blue-and-white porcelains recovered from Philippine archaeological sites were preliminarily identified to have Islamic motifs, however these were only initial descriptions. The Master’s thesis aims to verify the preliminary analyses. The main objective of this paper is analysis the blueandwhite porcelains recovered from following shipwrecks of the 15th century: Lena Shoal shipwreck, Española underwater site, and Pandanan shipwreck in Palawan, Philippines as well as Santa Cruz shipwreck in Zambales, Philippines. Using the collated motifs from already established ‘Islamic’ art a criteria and checklist was formulated to illustrate the presence of the motifs in Chinese blueandwhite porcelain from the abovementioned underwater sites. The initial results of this research will reveal that porcelains recovered in the Philippines are comparable to those found in West Asia, contrary to some past studies.


Andrea Natasha E. Kintanar, in Van Tilburg, H., Tripati, S., Walker Vadillo, V., Fahy, B., and Kimura, J. (eds.)





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