The highly unusual style of this dish, with a painted motif overlaying an unrelated engraved design, and this rare combination of a high-fired glaze (on the base) with a low-fired white glaze (elsewhere) is known only from Kangxi (AD 1662-1722) dishes and bowls decorated in this colour scheme. Similar examples, although numerous, vary greatly in execution, depicting the fruit in different stages of ripeness, with more or less seeds showing, arranged in different clusters on the branches, and with different distribution of the colours, which ensures that the design retains a lively, naturalistic flair. The incised design comes with or without double lines to separate the central from the surrounding dragons.
Similar dishes can be found in many important museum collections; for example, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, see Gugong Qing ci tulu. Kangxi yao, Yongzheng yao
/Illustrated Catalogue of Ch’ing Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum, Republic of China: K’ang-hsi Ware and Yung-cheng Ware
, Tokyo, 1980, pl. 33; in the Shanghai Museum, see Wang Qingzheng, ed., Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection
, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 144; in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, see Yeh Pei-lang [Ye Peilan], Beauty of Ceramics
, vol. 7: Gems of the Wucai Porcelain
, Taipei, 1996, pl. 283; and in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, see Li He, Chinese Ceramics. The New Standard Guide
, London, 1996, pl. 613.
One included in the exhibition Chinese Porcelain. The S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1987, cat. no. 80, was sold in these rooms 28th November 1979, lot 150; one from the Edward T. Chow collection, 19th May 1981, lot 588; and one from the T.Y. Chao collection 19th May 1987, lot 302. A matching bowl, with similarly coloured flower sprays painted over an engraved dragon design, is also preserved in the Meiyintang collection (Krahl, op. cit., vol. 2, no. 889).