The present dish is unusual for its rich decoration applied all over its interior and exterior. Adorned with the Eight Buddhist Emblems and enriched with Sanskrit characters, this vessel might have been made for use on a Buddhist altar during the Yongzheng period.

The design is well known from the late Ming dynasty and was revived in the Yongzheng period. See two closely related examples; one preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (accession no. 584-1907); the other sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27th November 2013, lot 3429. Compare also a blue-and-white prototype of Wanli mark and period (1573-1620), preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession no. Gu-Ci-16012, fig. 1), included in the Museum’s exhibition Good Fortune, Long Life, Health, and Peace: A Special Exhibition of Porcelains with Auspicious Designs, Taipei, 1995, cat. no. 18. According to Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt, Ming Porcelain, London, 1978, p. 188, dishes of this type were perhaps originally intended for holding offerings in Tibetan Buddhist temples.

fig. 1
A blue and white sanskrit-decorated 'lotus' dish, mark and period of Wanli
National Palace Museum, Taipei
明萬曆 青花梵文蓮花式盤 《大明萬曆年製》款


模印蓮式盤盛行於晚明,雍正朝復燒,參考二近例,其一藏於倫敦維多利亞與艾伯特博物館(藏品編號:584-1907);另一例售於香港佳士得,2013年11月27日,編號3429。明萬曆窰青花雛本,如台北故宮藏品(故瓷16012圖一),展於《福壽康寧:吉祥圖案瓷器特展圖錄》,台北,1995年,編號18。Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt,《Ming Porcelain》,倫敦,1978年,頁188,論及此類蓮式盤,或曾為藏傳佛教寺院,裝盛供品之用。