Brown-glazed stem bowls from the early Ming period are extremely rare, with most published examples being red-, white-, celadon-glazed or blue and white wares. A close comparison to the current lot is a slightly larger brown-glazed stem bowl excavated from the Yongle stratum at Jingdezhen, illustrated in Jingdezhen chutu Mingdai yuyao ciqi, Beijing, 2009, pl. 34.
Monochrome glazed stem bowls were important ritual objects for the imperial court during the Ming dynasty, it is therefore not uncommon to find dragon designs, symbols for imperial power, on such wares. Compare to a red-glazed stem bowl decorated with moulded dragons and Yongle mark, excavated from the Yongle stratum at Zhushan in Jingdezhen and illustrated in Huangdi de ciqi, Shanghai, 2010, pl. 34.