Tek Sing salvage


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Dec 12, 1999
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If you want to see latent racism at work, check out the following:

http://www.thisiscollecting.com/features/teking.shtml

http://www.hoianhoard.com

These sites are advertising the sale of artifacts recovered from the shipwreck, Tek Sing, ("True Star"). Tek Sing is a Chinese junk that sank in 1822, off Indonesia, with a greater loss of life than that of Titanic (i.e., approximately 1,600 lives).

In Titanic's context, such a sale would be unthinkable.

But here, there's no mention of the loss of 1,600 lives (one of the auctioneers is selling artifacts here in San Francisco). An estimated 350,000 pieces of Chinese porcelin are up for grabs. As one site explains: "From a collector's point of view, there will never be a better opportunity to purchase these often, rare porcelins, unfamiliar to Western eyes and hands, which hold such great charm and so many eccentricities." Really, it's so hard to come by artifacts from gravesites these days, even the Chinese ones.
 
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Scott Blair

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Joe,

Interested to hear about this.Those in the UK may wish to note that Channel 4 has a documentary this week on this topic.Its called "Chinas' Titanic".

Scott Blair
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Unfortunately there are all too many markets for graverobbers. One trend growing in popularity - although it's an old one, as items have always been taken from battlefield dead - is the exhumation of military artifacts from mass war graves. According to a piece in one of the London newspapers recently, it is not uncommon to find sellers who do not bother to disguise the fact that their militaria comes from, for example, German war graves.

Will have to keep an eye out for the Channel 4 doco, Scott.

Inger
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Joe, thanks for the heads up. I don't know if racism is at the core of this, but it hardly matters as far as I'm concerned. As Inger pointed out, it's graverobbing, and it stinks.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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