This picture taken at a recent IACF Alexandra Palace fair shows shipwreck stock from Carolina Valdés Vignoli . On the top shelf, all the pieces come from the 15th century Hoi An hoard. From left to right, the small cobalt blue glazed jar is £50, the heavily encrusted jar is £110 and the medium-size jar, still with its strong blue glaze, costs £150.

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This event runs four times a year and has always offered a particularly interesting range of stock from its up to 300 exhibitors. These include Carolina Valdés Vignoli, originally from Uruguay, who as Carol Tresor, sells porcelain and other pieces salvaged from the depths.

Talking about what got her interested in this niche dealing field, Vignoli said: “I was given a small cosmetic box salvaged from the 15th century Hoi An, discovered in the early 1990s off the coast of Vietnam.

“I was amazed by the beauty of the piece, the fact that it was hidden beneath the sea for hundreds of years and the story of the shipwreck from which it came. The box was my first shipwreck piece and it marked the beginning of my journey.”


Carolina Valdés Vignoli, who trades in porcelain and other salvaged pieces.

The Vietnamese blue and white porcelain from the Hoi An was auctioned by Butterfields in 2000.

Prices for Vignoli’s shipwreck porcelain at IACF Alexandra Palace range from £20 for mini jars from the Hoi An to £850 for a Chinese export porcelain saucer and plate set from the wreck of the 18th century Geldermaisen sold in the Nanking Cargo sale at Christie’s Amsterdam in 1986.

“The box was my first shipwreck piece and it marked the beginning of my journey

All Vignoli’s pieces are from official salvages and are sold with the corresponding provenance.