Dishes of this form with such crisply-moulded bird and flower motifs are rare and are more commonly known with less detailing, such as two dishes with everted rims, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, decorated with birds among flowers, published in the Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum. Ting Ware and Ting-type Ware, Taipei, 1973, pls 66 and 67; another, from the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, illustrated in Jan Wirgin, Sung Ceramic Designs, Stockholm, 1970, pl. 100b; and two further examples sold in these rooms, the first, from the collections of Major M.H. Soames and G.A. Kolkhorst, 29th June 1954, lot 14, and again, 17th February 1959, lot 60, and the second, 26th April 1966, lot 21. See also a dish moulded with a related design, but modelled with a barbed rim, in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, included in the exhibition Song Ceramics, Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1999, cat. no. 31.
The motif on this dish also reveals the influence of precious materials on Ding wares, as it bears a resemblance to contemporary silver ware and brocaded textiles. Rose Kerr, in Song Ceramics, London, 1982, p. 102, remarks that Ding ware had a ‘tendency to mimic other, more precious materials such as gold and silver, huge quantities of which were stored in palace treasuries’. Compare for example a silver dish with barbed rim, decorated with two geese amongst lotus flowers, in the Jiangxi Provincial Museum, Nanchang, illustrated in Zhongguo jin yin boli falangqi quanji, vol. 2, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 216 (right). See also a fragment of a kesi tapestry decorated with a cartouche enclosing a bird amongst flowers in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Shelagh Vainker, Chinese Silk. A Cultural History, London, 2004, pl. 84.
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