In 1734 the VOC (Dutch East India Company) for the first time decided to have sets of drawings made for the decoration of porcelain in China and commissioned Cornelis Pronk(1691- 1759), a well-known Amsterdam painter of portraits and views of towns and villages, to make them. In a period of three and a half years Pronk made four series of designs of which ' the arbour' is the fourth. Made in 1737, it was sent to Batavia in 1738 and received in Canton in 1739. Similar dishes are illustrated by C.J.A. Jörg, Porcelain and the Dutch China trade, Den Haag 1982, p.98-101, 171, 190, 192; D. Howard and J. Ayers, China for the West, vol.I, London 1978, p.292-306, fig. 295; and D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinese Export Porcelain, London 1974, plate 202. See also Christie's Amsterdam, 20/21 May 2008, lot 201-203 and Christie's New York, 23 January 2008, lot 114.