This elegant dish is similar to one illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pp. 154-5, no. 786. The author notes that the inscription is a pun on the decoration, as it forms a homophone for "red bats arranged in order on the sky." A similar pair of dishes is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, The Barbara Hutton Collection of Chinese Porcelain, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1956, pl. X (right), and another was sold in these rooms, 16 September 2010, lot 1373.
'Birthday' dishes were made in sets to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Kangxi Emperor in 1713. According to R. Scott in For the Imperial Court: Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation, London, 1997, p. 48, it seems unlikely that these dishes were actually used during the imperial birthday celebrations, but were more likely presented to guests as a gift.