The blue and white porcelain ‘palace bowl’, Ming dynasty, Chenghua mark and period, 1465-1487, is one of only nine examples of this type and design, seven of which are in museums. Its impeccable provenance includes the distinguished collection of Lord Cunliffe. The interior and exterior are delicately painted with stems of scrolling day lilies. From the time of its manufacture, the porcelain produced at Jingdezhen during this period has been judged as perhaps the finest ever made. The products tend to be small, presumably to the exacting taste of the Chenghua emperor. Although his reign was not especially long (22 years), the quantity of shards at Jingdezhen in this period – representing destroyed pieces that had been rejected as unworthy – is apparently much greater than for any other comparable period.