The present dish has a particularly unusual decorative element: the wavy diaper ground within the landscape medallion. The free-flowing lines of this particular diaper ground are very different to those seen on later wares, and reflect a particular fourtheenth century style when artists had more freedom in the depiction of diaper grounds. Sir Harry Garner mentions in his book Chinese Lacquer, London, 1979, p. 111 that after the fourteenth century, diaper grounds on Chinese carved lacquer became highly standardised and strictly conformed to three formal patterns representing land, water and air.
Very few examples survive today with grounds which exhibit the creativity of lacquer artists as on the current dish. One close example is a small lacquer box excavated from Qingpu Xian in Jiangsu province and dated to around 1351. The box depicts a landscape scene very similar to the current dish, and Sir Garner notes that the 'eddying form' of the water diaper on this box is of special interest for such forms did not persist in the later pieces, ibid.
Compare also two Yuan octagonal trays of similar size and similarly decorated with landscapes and floral motifs on the sides. One from the Palace Museum, Beijing (17.8 cm. diam.) is illustrated in Lacquer Wares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2006, pl. 1; the other was included in the exhibition 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, Hong Kong, 1993, Catalogue, no. 36.