“Know the ropes”: Boat representation in 17th and 18th centuries Portuguese tin glaze ware

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Portuguese tin-glaze ware decorated in blue and/or purple on white has been made in Portugal from at least 1570 using traditional methods up until the late 18th century. During this time, these ceramics were decorated with many different motifs with boats or ships being among the less frequent representations. These are shown in many different ways, most of the time illustrated while sailing. Several types of vessels have been recorded, from the small fishing boat associated with the fisherman to large vessels believed to correspond to ships, pataxos, naus or even galleons along with other types of vessels known in the 17th and 18th centuries. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of this iconographic source, depicting diverse types of boats and how those relate to the ships from different flags that pottery makers would observe daily entering the Portuguese ports, considering their economic, social and symbolic importance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShared Heritage
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Sixth International Congress for Underwater Archaeology
EditorsJennifer A. Rodrigues, Arianna Traviglia
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78491-642-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-78491-642-8
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIKUWA6 - Fremantle WA, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 20162 Dec 2016


CityFremantle WA


  • Portuguese faience
  • Ships
  • Boats


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