It was a common practice of the potters at the Ding kilns in Hebei province to fire their bowls and dishes upside down in order to prevent warping of the thin walls. This method necessitated that the rims were wiped clean of glaze to avoid adhesion to the kiln structure. After firing, the unglazed rims were then banded with gold, silver or copper. Not only did these bands conceal the unglazed rims, they also aided in the prevention of chipping of these expensive and luxurious wares.
This bowl is unusual in two ways. The shape appears to be unlike that of other published Ding ware bowls which usually have a flared conical or rounded conical shape, or deep, upright sides, unlike the deep, rounded sides of the present bowl that flare somewhat towards the rim. The other unusual feature is the carved decoration on the exterior, rather than the interior, which is more usual in Ding ware bowls. A Dingyao bowl of slightly different form, but also carved with lotus sprays on the exterior, and with a banded rim, is illustrated by M. Tregear in Song Ceramics, New York, 1982, p. 57, no. 35. Carved flower decoration can also be seen on a bowl of more upright rounded shape in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, illustrated in Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Ting Ware White Porcelain, Taipei, 1987, pl. 57.