The elaborate and highly amusing design on the present bowl is typical of the Jiaqing period especially the depiction of the group of sixteen boys. The earliest representation in this format can be found on a Yongle blue and white bowl exhibited at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Chinese Porcelain, The S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, 1987, illustrated in the catalogue, no. 15.
While there are a number of examples of Jiaqing-marked bowls of this type, Kangxi and Qianlong period bowls are somewhat rarer. The design becomes quite standard with same grouping of boys portrayed in the similar settings. A similar bowl with a Kangxi mark is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.104. A pair bowls of identical design from the Qianlong period is illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Japan, 1987, pl. 952.
Jiaqing examples include the bowls in the O. C. S. Exhibition of Ch'ing Polychrome Porcelain, 1977, no. 100, subsequently sold in our London Rooms, 13 December 1982, lot 528; one included in The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, 1986, no. 93; and another, illustrated by Avitable, From the Dragon's Treasure, Chinese Porcelain from the 19th and 20th Centuries in the Weishaupt Collection, p. 37, fig. 32; and a similar bowl without a mark sold in these Rooms, 28 November 2006, Jade Shears and Shimmering Feathers, Imperial Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, lot 1312.