On the morning of Christmas 1601 the San Jago set sail from Goa bound for Lisbon. The cargo included the first consignment of South East Asian porcelain destined for the European market. On 14 March 1602, off the coast of St. Helena, the San Jago unexpectedly encountered three Dutch ships and a fierce battle followed. After three days of fighting the Portuguese surrendered and the Dutch took possession of the San Jago. Upon arrival in Holland a huge auction of the booty of the San Jago was conducted and the profit was phenomenal since Europeans at that point did not know how to make porcelain. The importance of this auction was unprecedented and it provided enormous economic stimulus in the entire region and also provided diplomatic gifts that were used to cement the Dutch war of indepence against Spain. Among the recipients of such costly gifts were King Henry IV of France and Queen Elizabeth I of England.
This historic event formed the basis for a three-part TV-series called Porcelain filmed in Vietnam and broadcasted on Vietnamese television in March 2010. Authentic objects from the San Jago that are in the collection of a historical museum in Holland (the Zeeuws Museum) were used in the filming of the series. Furthermore the rest of the props created for the series were later officially added to the collection of the Zeeuws Museum, thereby recreating the past for future viewers. Every time Porcelain Pirates are exhibited objects from the collection of Zeeuws Museum are chosen by the curators of the venue to be displayed alongside the TV-series.
The TV-series was produced by Propeller Group, VN.