China, Qing Dynasty, Sycee gold Ingot from the Nanking shipwreck, c. 1750, cast as a bar in boat shape, stamped with a double gourd containing two Mandarin characters at its centre, the characters (trans. Treasure) at either end, rev. stamped twice, 365g. Light scuffs as usual for piece, otherwise very fine, accompanied by original auctioneers' Christie's The Nanking Cargo oak box numbered 102.
The "Nanking" wreck subsequently proved to be the VOC Retourschip Geldermalsen. She was built in 1742 for the Zeeland chamber of the VOC, with a tonnage equivalent to 1,155 metric tonnes, one of the largest Dutch Eastindiamen. She foundered on a coral reef in the South China Sea in January 1752. The celebrated Amsterdam auction disposed of over 100,000 pieces of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain and 124 10-Tael gold sycees, eighteen of which were shoe-shaped and 106 of this rectangular shape.
Ex Nanking Cargo Auction, Christie's Amsterdam, 28th April to 2nd of May 1986, Lot 1859.
Bought by A. H. Baldwin & Sons from Christie's Nanking Cargo Auction, 28th April to 2nd of May 1986.
Ex Hong Kong Auction, A. H. Baldwin & Sons - Ma Tak Wo Auction 54, 4th April 2013, Lot 416.