It was a common practice of the potters at the Ding kilns in Hebei province to fire their bowls and dishes upside down in order to prevent warping of the thin walls. This method necessitated that the rims be wiped clean of glaze to avoid adhesion to the kiln structure. After firing, the unglazed rims were then banded with gold, silver or copper. Not only did these bands conceal the unglazed rims, they also aided in the prevention of chipping of these expensive and luxurious wares. There is a slight discoloration around the rim of the present bowl which suggests it once had a metal band, long since removed.
A virtually identical Ding bowl in the Heeramaneck Collection is illustrated by G. Kuwayama, Chinese Ceramics: The Heeramaneck Collection, Los Angeles, 1974, p. 28, pl. 10. Another Ding bowl of the same size and shape, but carved with lotus decoration in the well, is illustrated by J. Ayers, The Seligman Collection of Oriental Art, vol. II, Chinese and Korean Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1964, pl. XXXI, no. D79.