Each floral roundel on this piece is painted with the flowers of the four seasons – peony, lotus, chrysanthemum, and prunus. This grouping first emerged in the Song dynasty (960-1279) and became a popular porcelain pattern from the Yuan period (1279-1368).
A closely related bowl in the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 31; another in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, is published in Sekai tōji zenshū/ Catalogue of World's Ceramics, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1956, pl. 64 bottom; a third, in the Meiyintang collection, is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. IV, pt. II, no. 1747; and an additional example, in the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology, University of Durham, is illustrated in Ireneus Laszlo Legeza, A Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Malcom Macdonald Collection of Chinese Art, London, 1972, pl. CXXXIX.
This motif is also found painted in underglaze blue, such as a Yongzheng mark and period bowl from the Ernst Ohlmer collection, now in the Roemer Museum, Hildesheim, illustrated in Ulrich Wiesner, Chinesisches Porzellan, Mainz am Rhein, 1981, pl. 45.
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