Fine underglaze red porcelains were made during the Xuande period, of which the present dish is a superb and rare example. The surface of this piece reveals the multiple layers applied to achieve the rich red colour. Shards from rejected porcelains have been excavated and reveal the exceptionally vigilant quality control at the kiln sites in Jingdezhen; see two examples of excavated dishes of this type included in the exhibition Xuande Imperial Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1998, cat. nos. 95-1 and 95-2.
A closely related dish in the Tianjin City Art Museum is illustrated in Tianjin shi yishi bowuguan, Tianjin, 1984, pl. 241. A slightly smaller dish of this type in the Shanghai Museum was included in the exhibition Chugoku rekidai toji ten, Seibu Art Museum, Tokyo, 1984, cat. no. 75; and two examples sold in our London rooms, one from the Enid and Brodie Lodge collection, 14th March, 1972, lot 147, and the other from the collection of Michael Chok, 11th June 1996, lot 29.
For a slightly larger related dish see one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, published in Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collections, vol. 11, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 70; one illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji. Taoci, vol. 3, Shanghai, 1988, pl. 87; another in the Tianminlou collection and included in the Min Chiu Society Thirtieth Anniversary exhibition Selected Treasures of Chinese Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1990, cat. no. 153; and a fourth example sold in these rooms, 8th October 2008, lot 2536.
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