Previously sold in our London Rooms, 7 June 1993, lot 45.
No other bowl of this pattern appears to be published.
Bowls of this size exist both in underglaze-blue and in copper-red with varying arrangements of the decorative motifs. It is quite rare, however, to find upright floral-sprays in the well above a medallion with a floral-scroll. The opposite is seemingly easier to execute and although the types of flowers vary between peony, chrysanthemum with sprays in the medallion and scrolls around the well, this group of bowls is almost always painted in this manner.
Compare with a related underglaze-blue enamel painted bowl in the National Palace Museum, Taibei, with floral-sprays within the central medallion encircled by a peony-scroll at the well and a lingzhi- scroll below the rim, the exterior painted with a chrysanthemum-scroll below a wave band at the rim, illustrated in Blue and White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book I, pl. 1, 1a-b. Another from the J.M. Addis Collection is illustrated by Adrian Joseph, Ming Porcelains, pl. 15, and painted with a spray of two chrysanthemum below a wide lotus- scroll and a thinner composite flower band at the rim, the exterior with a similar composite band at the rim above a chrysanthemum-scroll. A third in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., is illustrated by Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt, La Porcelaine Ming, pl. 24, with a peony- scroll on the exterior and a lingzhi-scroll below the rim, each with a band of petal panels enclosing a pencilled flower around the base above key-frets around the foot.
The central medallion in this example, painted with the flowers of the four seasons around a central lotus was a particularly successful arrangement that was later used extensively on the medallions of Yongle dishes.