The Marinduque Celadon Jar will be coming home just in time for the 102nd Commemoration of Act 2880 celebrated as the Marinduque Day
BOAC, MARINDUQUE. After more than five decades after it was discovered, the Marinduque Celadon jar is finally coming home.
What was its journey, and where did it go?
The story of the jar’s provenance is still a mystery till now. It is unknown if it was a family heirloom sold in a time of need or if it was found in our numerous caves, or dived from deep beneath the sea, in the old ancient shipwrecks around the peaceful island just off Quezon and Batangas.
What we know is this. The Marinduque Celadon Jar is rare and only one of the three known existing celadon jars of its kind. It was bought by Alfredo Evangelista in 1965, who, at that time was the Assistant Director of the National Museum of the Philippines. Before he came by the jar, Evangelista had organized systematic excavations at Pilapil Cave in Torrijos, Marinduque. These excavations produced local artifacts and sherds associated with Song (960–1279 CE) and Yuan (1279–1368 CE) periods.
The Celadon Jar is a rare stoneware estimated to be from around the years 1279 to 1368 CE, during the Yuan Dynasty in China. Its form is distinguished by a translucent jade-like green glaze application throughout its body. As a characteristic of a Yuan Dynasty jar, It has an outward rim, short-waisted neck, edged shoulder highlighted with four vertical lugs. According to its description at the National Museum, it has a broad body, a small and narrow bottom, and the foot is described as flat. The jar size is measured at 31.2 cm in height and 18.5 cm in maximum body width.
Four Chinese dragons decorate the jar in embossed relief – a common design from that time that symbolizes power, strength, and good fortune in East Asian culture. The dragon motif hints that the Marinduque Celadon Jar is not just an average find but a distinct sign of status, which makes it an important and special treasure for Marinduque.
In a statement, the Marinduque Governor, Presby Velasco, Jr, said:
“Marinduque is a truly enchanting island filled with history, cultures, and traditions that makes us proud. We thank the National Museum for bestowing us this national treasure so that the people of Marinduque can have easier access to our heritage. We view history and the arts not as a luxury, but as a necessity if we are to have a vibrant culture. It is through rediscovering our history that we can keep moving forward as a people.”
The Marinduque Celadon Jar was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2010. It will be unveiled to the public on February 21, 2022. It will be open for public viewing at the Marinduque – Romblon National Museum.