Previously sold in Hong Kong, 14 November 1989, lot 27.
In its definition and colour, the present example is one of the best in quality among a number of dishes with the same design.
Compare the similar examples, in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Underglaze Blue and Red, pl. 154; in the Percival David Foundation, illustrated by Lion-Goldschmidt, Ming Porcelain, pl. 104; in Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 11, pl. 91; and in the Eumorfopoulos Collection, Catalogue, vol. 4, pl. VII, no. D18. One from the Tyson Collection was included in the Exhibition of Masterpieces of Chinese Art from the Art Institute of Chicago, 1989, Catalogue, no. 89; another from the Brankston and Norton Collection was included in the Kau Chi Society Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Hong Kong, 1981, Catalogue, no. 76; the example from the Leventritt Collection was included in the Exhibition of Ming Blue and White, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1949, Catalogue, no. 101; and another is illutrated by Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Koger Collection, pl. 54.
Cf. also larger dishes of the same design, in the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, illustrated by Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, 1975, pl. 161 and in the National Palace Museum, Taibei, illustrated by Kao Yu-chen in Blue and White Porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, 1988, p. 52.
Compare another Zhengde dish illustrated in Chinese Porcelain, The S. C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, pl. 34, together with a Xuande-marked prototype, pl. 19, of very similar design but with peonies replacing the lotus around the well and on the reverse.
Garner discusses in Oriental Blue and White, pp. 30-31, the puzzling use during the Zhengde period of both four and six-character marks on wares which are clearly of Imperial quality, the present group always bearing only four-character marks.