The present bowl is possibly one of the Sir Nicholas O'Conor bowls described in Bushell's Oriental Ceramic Art, 1896, pp.46-47. This is suggested by J.H. Myrtle (in correspondence with R. W. Longsdorf in 1984) in response to the quality of the bowl and in collaboration with the statement in Christie's London December 1984 catalogue footnote to lot 955 that the piece was 'acquired by a diplomat prior to his death in 1902.'
O'Conor was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, in 1843. He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1866. He had a variety of postings, including Secretary of Legation at Beijing from 1883-1886, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Emperor of China from 1892-1895.
The original sketch of a jardiniere of this pattern is illustrated, in Guanyang Yuci, The Forbidden City Publishing House, 2007, p. 206, no. 50 (fig. 1).