A very similar example was illustrated in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, exhibition catalogue, Chinese Porcelain, S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong, 1987, vol. 1, col. pl. 26; another from the Eugene Bernat collection was included in the exhibition catalogue, Ming Blue and White, Philadelphia, 1949, no. 62; a third example is illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, Shogakukan Series, vol. 14, col. pls. 25 and 26; an example from the R.H.R Palmer collection was illustrated by Sir Harry Garner, Oriental Blue and White, pl. 26 and sold in these Rooms, 17 January 1989, lot 573 and 2 May 1994, lot 632; see also Toji Taikei, vol. 42, pl. 50 for another related dice bowl.
'Dice' bowls are typified by their sturdy potting, low sides, wide mouth and plain interiors. The nianhao is written in a line from right to left below the rim. They are found with a number of designs around the exterior such as lotus or peony scrolls, lotus with Buddhist emblems, 'The Three Friends of Winter', fruit sprays and composite flower scrolls as in the present lot. Their precise use remains obscure but suggestions include vessels for playing dice, brush washers, an arena for cricket fights or fruit bowls.