The design on the present bowl is inspired by early fifteenth-century prototypes, such as the small rounded bowl with Xuande mark included in the Exhibition of Imperial Porcelain of the Yongle and Xuande Periods Excavated from the Site of the Ming Imperial Factory at Jingdezhen, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1989, no. 75. In the Ming dynasty the motif of three fish, however, is more often found on stem bowls.
A Yongzheng-period bowl of this design is illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 15, Toyko, 1983, pl. 39; and a smaller bowl from the Nanjing Museum was included in the exhibition, Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Reigns, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1995, no. 49. A slightly smaller (6 in.) bowl was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 1 June 2011, lot 3917.