At the time the bowl was exported from China in the second half of the 16th century, there were two primary routes to Europe; Portuguese traders based in Macao shipped to Lisbon while the Spanish imported luxury items from the east via Central America and shipped to Seville. Chinese porcelain constituted a small fraction of this trade and its expense and rarity ensured that it was available to only the wealthiest patrons. First and foremost among them was Philip II of Spain who owned the largest collection in Europe at the time - some 3,000 pieces of which none remain having been gifted, lost or destroyed. As diplomatic gifts Chinese porcelain found its way into many of the leading European royal and noble houses. Comparable examples of mounted Jiajing period bowls include the blue and white "Trenchard Bowl" and an iron-red and gold 'kinrande' bowl mounted as a stemcup both in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the latter illustrated in Stacy Pierson, From Object to Concept, Global Consumption and the Transformation of Ming Porcelain, Hong Kong, 2013, fig. 2.7; a blue and gilt 'Kinrande' bowl with similar mounts in the Metropolitan Museum, New York illustrated in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, p. 178, no. 174. a blue and white cup with gold decoration and Augsburg mounts is preserved in the Church of Santa Maria de los Corporales de Daroca, Zaragoza Spain, illustrated in Cinta Krahe, "Chinese Porcelain in Spain During the Habsburg Dynasty", Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 77, Hainault, England, 2014, p. 30. Few examples of comparable significance have come on the market in recent years. An important Wanli period wucai wine ewer and cover with period mounts, reputedly from the collection of Elizabeth I, sold in our Hong Kong rooms 8th April 2007, lot 765.
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