Only five other flasks of this design are recorded. The example from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art is discussed and illustrated by John Pope in "An Early Porcelain in Muslim Style", Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst; Festschrift fur Ernst Kuhnel, pl. 4B; another in the Collection of the Yantai City Museum in Shandong Province is illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Daquan, Ceramics volume, pl. 673; a third formerly in the Garratt Collection is illustrated by Pope, "Blue and White in London", F.E.C.B., vol. VI, no. 2, 2 June 1954, pl. I(B); Ming Porcelain, Their Origin and Development, pl. 22; another example sold in Hong Kong, 21 May 1979, lot 39. A moonflask of similar shape but painted with Islamic-influenced floral-sprays was sold in these Rooms, 31 October 1994, lot 547.
The fascination for Islamic shapes and design was a unique influence on blue and white porcelains produced for the Yongle Emperor. Almost always of impeccable quality, they were largely drawn from Near East metalwork of the 14th and 15th centuries. Among the most popular shapes were moonflasks of various forms, such as the present lot; another without a bulbous mouth, but a straight tall neck flanked by two arc-shaped handles, cf. Misugi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East, The Topkapi Palace Museum, no. T41; a third type without a foot which stood on its other unglazed circular side (lain flat), an example of which is in the National Palace Museum illustrated in Blue and White of the Ming Dynasty, Book I, pl. 3; a fourth, resembling a double-gourd painted more usually with radiating floral star designs; a stand with an upright cylindrical section splaying widely out at the mouth and foot, an example of which is in the Tianjin Art Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Daquan, op. cit., pl. 683; a bowl after a Mamluk shape, illustrated in ibid., pl. 682 and the basins with wide flaring rims, cf. ibid., pl. 680 for an example in the Beijing Palace Museum. Other shapes such as the funnel, sprinkler and ewers of various forms and designs are well recorded in collections of The Palace Museums in Beijing and Taibei and in the Iran Bastan Museum.
The design on the present flask consisting of radiating panels in concentric formation painted with varying motifs in geometric cells were also employed on jars of albarello shape, cf. one illustrated by Ye Peilan, Appraising Chinese Art, p. 122; a Qing Dynasty version of this shape and design was included in the sale, 29 April 1996, lot 747.