Amid the small group of Palace Workshop cloisonne enamel wares from the Yongle and Xuande periods decorated with lotus meanders, the present lot stands out as among one of the most finely enamelled. Although this motif was extremely popular and the most common of decorative themes in the early 15th century, the attention to detail on this example, with full blooms depicted with gently curled petals picked out in two tones suggesting the front and back of each face, identifies this example as one of the most detailed of the group.
Compare with a cloisonne enamel vase from the J.M. Hanbury and Pierre Uldry collections, illustrated in Chinese Cloisonne: The Pierre Uldry Collection, London, 1989, pl. 9, which appears to be of slightly later date as the lotus flowers are more stylized as are the petals towards the centre of the bloom. The 'curled' petal motif can also be seen on the cover of a cloisonne enamel box from the collections of Sir Harry Garner and Pierre Uldry, illustrated in op. cit., pl. 12 and again on a censer from the collections of Mrs. M. Sheperd, F. Knight and Pierre Uldry illustrated as fig. 15, however these again appear rather stylised and do not give the appearance of depth or fullness as do the blooms on the present alms bowl.