Isn’t it fascinating that tea has such a rich history and that there has been so much written on the subject. It seems that there is something new to pique my interest almost every day. Lately I’ve been learning about the Dutch East India Company cargo ship the Geldermalsen, which was lost at sea in January 1752.
Sadly, this important archaeological find was destroyed in the haste to remove the precious cargo.
The most important cargo on board was, of course, tea. The chests of tea (close to 700,000 pounds) were packed several meters high. The cargo also included gold ingots and 203 chests of porcelain like the plate shown above.
Can you imagine 63,623 tea cups, 578 teapots, 548 milk jugs, 171 dinner services, and much more of this gorgeous blue and white porcelain?
Christies Auction House advertised their Amsterdam sale of “Nanking Cargo” (book) porcelain and in May 1986 they sold almost 160,000 pieces at a record price of 20 million dollars. One antique dealer purchased a dinner service for $261,475.
You can read more about the Geldermalsen here.