This type of dish was a very popular export to India and the Middle East, as evidenced by the large numbers published in collections in Istanbul and Tehran, and the large number of copies made locally in earthenware. They are found with a variety of floral decorations and sizes, with rounded wells, everted rounded rims and barbed rims. For a discussion of the Asian empires that prized these dishes, see the note to lot 1551 in this catalogue, an important blue and white barbed ‘lotus’ dish with the collector’s mark of the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658).
It is extremely rare to find a Yongle dish decorated with a continuous vine around the everted rim rather than cresting waves such as the present dish. The border on this dish is particularly beautifully rendered, incorporating ruyi heads in the vine. A related dish of the same size, with a similar decorative scheme and a vine around the rim, from The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, was sold at Christie’s New York, 19 March 2009, lot 712. An example of the more commonly found version with cresting wave border on the everted rim was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1451.
A dish with the same design as the present lot, of slightly smaller size, is in the Topkapi Saray, Istanbul, and is illustrated in J. Ayers and R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. II, Yuan and Ming Dynasty Porcelain, London, 1986, p. 512, no. 600. Another of slightly smaller size (37.8 cm.) is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession number 1978.149, and another of slightly larger size (43.2 cm.) from the Ardebil Shrine, now in the Iran Bastan Musuem, is illustrated by T. Misugi in Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East: Topkapi and Ardebil, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 119, no. A.35.