ABSTRACT

The analysis of Asian ceramics in VOC sites at the Cape of Good Hope seeks to make sense and order out of things like the little, spotted toad and its associated mass of broken stuff. The VOC at the Cape imported ceramics from Europe and Asia and also produced coarse earthenware for daily use. Asian ceramics predominate in collections from excavated sites and archival probates of the 17th and 18th century. Utilitarian coarse stoneware pots and jars, usually glazed, circulated in the ambit of the VOC in Europe and Asia. Most export ware at the Cape was ‘Official ware’ imported as provisioning by the VOC, with smaller amounts imported via private trade. During the 17th century, the VOC trade fluctuated between China and Japan. Oudepost I was an outpost of the VOC situated about 120 km north of the Castle on the shore of Langebaan lagoon at Saldanha Bay.