Plates of this period are in the main circular, occasionally octagonal, but very rarely with foliate-shaped rims as in the present lot. The Chinese enameller has, in addition to the pink enamel at the border, used generous quantities of both the pale and deep pink enamel in a few select areas, such as dots on the butterflies' wings, on some of the flowers, and on the boys' robes, forming areas of slightly higher relief to create a feeling of richness and depth to the design. The combination of the quantity of rose enamel, the gilding and the non-conforming shape would suggest that plates of this kind were an extremely costly order.
A set of twelve very similar plates are in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, illustrated by R. L. Hobson, Chinese Porcelain and Wedgwood Pottery, London, 1928, no. 530, plate 70; together with five bowls and covers from the same service, as no. 529.