The present dish is a good example of early Ming wares which combine an underglaze-blue decoration with anhua design. Anhua is a technique of applying a pattern: by incising, moulding or painting in slip, directly onto the biscuit body of a vessel, and then covering it all in a clear glaze so that the subtle pattern is tantalisingly visible only with oblique or transmitted light.
Compare with closely related anhua-decorated phoenix dishes with classic scroll borders rather than double lines, the first in the Percival David Foundation, included in the Exhibition of a Hundred Masterpieces of Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Foundation, Tokyo, 1980, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 57; in the British Museum from the Seligman Collection, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, Kodansha series, vol. 5, 1981, col. pl. 34; and another dish sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 30 April 1996, lot 327.