This impressive dish is decorated with a design of nine peaches, providing an auspicious rebus. The peaches are symbolic of longevity, while the number nine, jiu in Chinese, sounds like the word jiu, meaning long, and also suggesting jiu jiu, meaning for a long time. The number nine is also regarded as being the most yang or masculine number, and is associated with imperial sovereignty. The design of nine peaches became particularly popular in the 18th century, and continued in popularity thereafter. On the exterior of the dish is a convolvulus (morning glory) scroll. This flower is regarded in China as symbolizing the harmony between male and female, husband and wife. The decoration on the dish can therefore be seen as wishing both extended longevity and marital harmony.
A pair of smaller Yongzheng dishes with this decoration are in the collection of the Percival David Foundation (see M. Medley, Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Polychrome Wares, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1978, no. A795). Another smaller dish with nine underglaze blue peaches and yellow ground, and with the same convolvulus scroll ion the exterior as on the current dish is in the collection of the National palace Museum, Taipei ( see Porcelain of the National Palace Museum - Blue-and-white Ware of the Ch'ing Dynasty, Book II, Cafa Company, Hong Kong, 1968, pp 78-9, pls. 29-29b. Another similar Qianlong blue and yellow dish with nine peaches is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum (see ixiang - Special Exhibition Auspicious Motifs in Chinese Art, Tokyo National Museum, 1998, no. 103).
A somewhat larger dish with the same decoration and bearing the same Chuxiugong zhi (made for the Hall of Nourishing Talent) mark is in the Baur Collection (see J. Ayers, The Baur Collection Geneva - Chinese Ceramics, vol. IV, Collections Baur, Geneve, 1974, no. A586).
Captain Otto Löffler served in the German troops under General Fieldmarschall von Waldersee in Beijing during the Boxer rebellion. He later went on to become the General of the infantry, finally leaving the army in 1919.