Bowls of this type are also known without the enamels and rendered only in underglaze blue, such as one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei included in the Museum’s exhibition Ming Chenghua ciqi tezhan, op. cit., cat. no. 87; and another included in the exhibition The Wonders of the Potter’s Palette, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1984, cat. no. 97.
For the prototype to this bowl, see one with a Chenghua mark and of the period, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Ming Chenghua ciqi tezhan [Special exhibition of Chenghua porcelain], Taipei, 1976, cat. no. 85. This motif was revived during the Jiajing reign and later under the Qianlong Emperor, and gained further popularity during the reign of Daoguang. It is a highly auspicious motif as ducks swimming in pairs are symbolic of marital bless; hence bowls of this type would have been considered suitable wedding gifts.
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