This scene illustrates the popular pastime amongst the genteel society of the 17th and 18th Centuries of guessing the name of a flower from its scent. The design is taken from an unidentified print and judging from the hair-styles it probably dates to shortly before 1700, and may have been part of a set of 'The Senses'. See Howard and Ayers, China for the West, vol.I, London and New York, 1978, p.78 for a discussion on the print source, where the authors suggest that it could have been by one of the Bonnart brothers, and no.36 for a similar dish in the Mottahedeh Collection, which had formerly been in the Ionides Collection. Other examples are in the Hodroff Collection, see D. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, London, 1994, p.41, no.7; and in the G. Duff Collection, Lisbon, illustrated by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, London, 1962, p.27, fig.12. A similar dish was sold in our New York Rooms, 23-24 January 2002, lot 61.