This dish is a fine representative of the Longquan kiln's production during the early fifteenth century when large quantities of wares were made for the Middle Eastern market. In its size and decoration it closely follows early Ming blue and white porcelains produced at Jingdezhen. Dishes of this type were greatly prized not only for their attractive robust potting and large size but also because it was believed that the glaze colour would change if poisonous food was served on them.
A closely related dish in the former collection of the Ottoman sultans in Turkey, is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. 1, London, 1986, pl. 235; and another from the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan was sold in these rooms, 31st October 1995, lot 348. Compare dishes of this type decorated with flowering peonies in the centre, such as a slightly larger example sold in our London rooms, 13th July 2005, lot 195; and another from the collection of Mathias Komor, sold at Christie's New York, 20th September 2001, lot 122.
The Persian inscription states that this dish was a gift to the Royal Mughal Household, and refers to an inventory conducted in November/December 1657. The date falls into the reign of Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1657), one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the Mughal empire (1527-1707) and builder of the most famous Mughal monument, the Taj Mahal.