the interior centred with a large medallion containing two blossoming roses and a rose bud borne on a leafy branch, encircled by a continuous peony scroll on the cavetto and a 'classic' scroll on the everted lipped rim, the exterior painted with a continuous lotus scroll on the rounded sides beneath a plain rim, the base and the footring left unglazed
This dish, with its graceful flower design executed in graded shades of cobalt blue exemplifies the subtle porcelain painting style that is characteristic of the Yongle reign. Five dishes of this otherwise rare design with a stem of two roses in the centre, are today in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, from the Ardabil Shrine, see John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, D.C., 1956, pl. 32 bottom right, and Misugi Takatoshi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East: Topkapi and Ardebil, Hong Kong, 1981, vol. III, pl. A.33 (fig. 0); one from the collection of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, now in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, is published in Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collections, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, 1980-82, vol. 8, no. 214; another was included in the Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Kau Chi Society of Chinese Art, The Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1981, cat. no. 64. And a very similar dish with ten small chrysanthemum sprays replacing the scroll border on the rim is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red, Shanghai, 2000, vol. 1, pl. 55 (fig. 1).
A dish painted in a very similar style but with a curled peony spray in the centre, lotus scroll around the well and flowering and fruiting sprigs at the rim was recovered from the Yongle stratum of the Ming imperial kiln site, see Jingdezhen Zhushan chutu Yongle guanyao ciqi [Yongle Imperial porcelain excavated at Zhushan, Jingdezhen], Capital Museum, Beijing, 2007, cat. no. 73; two dishes of this design were also among the Ardabil porcelains, now in Tehran, see Pope, op.cit., pl. 32 top.
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