The technique of reserving a pattern on an iron-red ground appeared as early as the Longqing period, cf. a bowl with an underglaze-blue dragon on an iron-red ground in the Percival David Foundation, included in the exhibition Ceramic Evolution in the Middle Ming Period, and illustrated in the Catalogue no. 30. This decorative method was further developed in the Jiajing reign with the addition of black outlines to enhance the overall design. Compare with a Jiajing-marked square bowl designed with boys at play in a landscape scene, in the Baur Collection, illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1999, p. 145, no. 87.