Sold in these Rooms, 20 March 1990, lot 523.
A very similar bowl is illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, Shogakukan series, vol. 14, col. pls. 163 and 164; another from the R.E. Luff Collection was included in the O.C.S. Exhibition, 1971, The Ceramic Art of China, Catalogue, no. 156; a pair of such bowls from the Lungren Collection was included in the Venice Exhibition, 1954, Mostra D'Arte Cinese, Catalogue, no. 655; another in The National Palace Museum, Taibei, was included in the Special Exhibition of Chenghua Porcelain (Ming Chenghua Ciqi Tezhan), 1976, no. 80; the similar example in the British Museum is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, Kodansha series, Vol. 5, no. 174; cf. the bowl in the Percival David Foundation illustrated by Margaret Medley, Catalogue, Section 3, Porcelains Decorated in Underglaze Blue and Copper Red, no. A646; another formerly in the Bernat Collection is illustrated by Sir Harry Garner, Oriental Blue and White, pl. 35B; cf. also the bowl illustrated in Mingdai Taoci Daquan, p. 201 (2 views) and p. 179 (2 views); another bowl of near-identical pattern was included in the Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Kau Chi Society of Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 1981/82, Catalogue, col. pl. 73; four bowls of this design are recorded in Gugong Ciqi Lu, part II, Ming, Vol. I, p. 214. A Wanli-marked bowl of this design was also included in the Special Exhibition of Chenghua Porcelain, op. cit., no. 79.
On Palace bowls the most popular floral varieties include the musk mallow, the lily, camellia, and hibiscus; the other recurring motif is fruiting melon vines, a continuation of the Yuan and early Ming preference; the depictions of foliage, however, are not always consonant with the floral varieties.
Cf. the group of 'lily' Palace bowls; one from the Collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. R.H.R. Palmer, and later the Jingguantang Collection, sold in these Rooms, 17 January 1989, lot. 575 and again 3 November 1996, lot 548; another in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, illustrated in the Hoyt Memorial Exhibition, Catalogue, no. 392; another from the Herschel V. Johnson Collection is illustrated by Garner, Oriental Blue and White, pl. 35A; two others in The National Palace Museum, Taibei, were included in the Special Exhibition of Chenghua Porcelain, op. cit., nos. 13 and 82; the Cunliff bowl was exhibited at the O.C.S., London, 1954, Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, 14th to 19th Centuries, Catalogue, no. 104.
The group of Palace bowls painted with melon vines also provides an interesting comparison. Cf. the Palmer bowl, sold in our London Rooms, 14 June 1982, lot 79; another in the Ataka Collection illustrated in the Exhibition of Oriental Ceramics, 1979, Catalogue, no. 82; the Seligman bowl, now in the British Museum, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, Kodansha Series, vol. 5, pl. 177; the example in the Percival David Foundation, illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, Shogakukan series, vol. 14, col. pls. 45 and 46; and the bowl from the S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, exhibited at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1987, Catalogue, Part I, no. 31.
Palace bowls form one of the most comprehensive groups among the different types of blue and white porcelain produced during the Chenghua period, and are very well represented in public collections; the Percival David Foundation has in its collection, six bowls of this kind; the British Museum, four; and in Taibei, a random selection on Soame Jenyns' visit in 1957/58, when the Palace Museum Collections were stored at Pei-Kou, yielded an astonishing revelation--'Twenty of the palace bowls came out of one crate alone', see T.O.C.S., 1957/59, vol. 31, p. 52, 'A Visit to Pei-Kou'.