Comparable ewers with pomegranate and loquat sprays are illustrated by J.Pope, Chinese porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, pl. 54, no. 29.427 and Misugi, Chinese Porcelain from the Topkapi Saray Museum of Art, vol. III, p. 156 A.78; in Underglazed Blue and Red, from the Shanghai Museum; in The Tsui Museum of Art, col. pl. 64; in Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing, pl. 200, col. pl. 81, from the Chang Foundation; in Imperial Hongwu and Yongle Porcelain Excavated from Jingdezhen, pls. 178-181, nos. 58-59; by Liu Liang-yu, Ming Official Wares, A Survey of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 4, p. 54. Closely related examples, but with cinquefoil panels, are illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol.1, p. 245, fig. 736; in the Min Chiu Society, Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition, 1990 Catalogue, pl. 131; in Liaoning Sheng Bowuguan, pl. 180; and in Zhongguo Meishu Quanji, Arts and Crafts, vol. III, pl. 69. Two other ewers painted with peach and pomegranate branches enclosed within cinquefoil panels include the example sold in our New York rooms, 2 December 1985, lot 234, and the example sold in our Hong Kong Rooms, 18th March 1991, lot 250.
The present example uses double-lines to form the quatrefoil panels while others use triple-lines and form a cinquefoil cartouche. The presence of studs at the base of the handle and shape of the mouth are Hongwu features suggesting an early Yongle date. The fruit sprays which are always fruiting loquat and peaches are not always distributed as in the present example, but also occur swapped from one side to another. It is notable that the design of fruit in panels appears to be the only pattern for this form that the Qing potters copied.