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Chalre Associates - Executive Search in Asia Pacific - Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, VietnamThe Chalre Collection of Asian Ceramics - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics

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 The Collection


The focus of The Chalre Collection is Chinese and Asian Tradeware Ceramics -- in other words, Ceramics that were traded throughout Asia.  Tradeware Ceramics (Porcelain, Stoneware and Earthenware) tell the story of how the peoples of Asia forged social and commercial ties with each other during ancient times. 


The Ceramic Art collection of Chalre Associates came about through the efforts of the firm's principals, Rebecca Bustamante and Richard Mills.  It is intended that a significant portion of The Chalre Collection become property of a museum foundation or other public body in the future. 


In creating the collection, major recognition must be given to Jose (Joe) Yusef Makmak for his considerable support and friendship.  Our thoughts are with Joe, formerly a prominent ceramic antiquities dealer in Philippines, who passed away in 2008.  




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Chinese Earthenware Ceramics - The Chalre Collection of Asian Ceramics

 Earthenware: The First Ceramic Art

Brown Jarlet from Shipwreck - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics


Brown Jarlet from Shipwreck - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics


Brown Jarlet from Shipwreck - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics


Brown Jarlet from Shipwreck - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics



The Story of 

Earthenware Pottery 


During ancient times when the Chinese empire controlled the trade routes of Southeast Asia, large Earthenware jars were used to store trade goods (smaller Porcelain, spices, beads, etc.).  They were also used to store the food and water supplies of the men sailing the ships.  So attractive and durable were the vessels that they also served as trade goods themselves.


The result over time was that Earthenware jars were dispersed across Southeast Asia with a variety of ornamental motifs.  These include forms such as Buddhist and Taoist symbols that were otherwise alien to Southeast Asia.  There were also floral designs of plants species which are not native to much of Southeast Asia.  


The importance of the jars was documented by Magellan in 1521.  His chronicles describe how he was presented with "three Porcelain jars covered with leaves and filled with rice wine" by an important tribal chief in Philippines.  Numerous jars of wine were brought to a reception of the rajah of Cebu (middle part of Philippines), one of the most powerful rulers of the region at the time, and presented as gifts.   


Decorated Earthenware jars were so revered by local people that medicine men would (unfortunately) remove samplings of the Ceramics to be consumed with medicinal potions or for religious ceremonies.  It is for this reason that ancient jars are commonly seen with rims that have been partly grinded off.  

Brown Jarlet From Shipwreck






The formerly brown jarlet spent many centuries under the sea and is covered in shell encrustations.   




The artifact was produced in China, probably in the city of Jingdezhen of Jiangxi province.  It was brought to Southeast Asia as a valuable trade-good probably by an ancient Chinese trading ship.  After many centuries, the piece was rediscovered by excavators and subsequently acquired by The Chalre Collection through a registered dealer. 




Produced in the Ming Dynasty period (1368 - 1644).




Height: 6cm (2.25in.)

Width or Depth: 10cm (4in.)




This artifact is very close or identical in shape and decoration to some demonstrated in the following publication: A Thousand Years of Stoneware Jars.       


Other similar or identical examples can be found in publications dealing specifically with ancient shipwrecks excavations.  Good examples are Lost At Sea: The Lena Shoal Junk and The Pearl Road: Tales of Treasure Ships.


Similar and/or identical items are also on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK), the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (USA), the National Museum of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), the National Museum of the Philippines (Manila) and other museums throughout the world with diverse collections of Asian ceramics.




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The Chalre Collection - Ceramics of Southeast Asia - Chinese Earthenware Ceramics

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