Dishes of this design first appeared during the Yongzheng reign, with examples illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, Hong Kong, 1994, pl. 761; and several sold in these Rooms, one on 26 September 1989, lot 651, and another, The Imperial Sale, 29 April 2001, lot 609. A Qianlong dish of this pattern was sold in these Rooms, 1 May 1994, lot 657; while another is illustrated by A. du Boulay, Christie's Pictorial History of Chinese Art, p. 203. The decoration can also be compared to that on a Xuande period dish illustrated by A. D. Brankston, Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen, 1938, pl. 21a.
The central motif of the winged dragon is rarely encountered. However, on the present lot, the outspread wings, together with outstretched limbs, contribute to a powerful and ferocious appearance of the full-faced dragon, which itself was a popular representation during the Qing dynasty.