Yongle flasks of this form, design and size are illustrated by J. Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, no. 145; by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol. II, no. 616; included in the Exhibition of Famous Pieces of Chinese Porcelain in the Matsuoka Museum of Art, Japan, 1983, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 48; in the Exhibition of Blue and White, Chinese Porcelain and its Impact on the Western World, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1985, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 15; included in the Min Chiu Society Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition, In Pursuit of Antiquities, Hong Kong, 1995/1996, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 124, and sold in these Rooms, The Jingguantang Collection, 3 November 1996, lot 545.
These moonflasks were made primarily for export or as gifts to Near Eastern rulers. For the origins of its shape and decoration, see J. Pope, 'An Early Ming Porcelain in Muslim Style', Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst, Festschrift fur Ernst Kuhnel, 1959; B. Gray, 'The Influence of Near Eastern Metalwork on Chinese Ceramics', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 1940-41, vol. 18, p. 57 amd pl. 7F; and M. Medley, 'Islam and Chinese Porcelain in the 14th and Early 15th Centuries', Bulletin of the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, no. 6, 1982-84, fig. 11.