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Large serving dish with composite flower scrol. Ming dynasty, Yongle reign, AD1403–1424. Percival David Foundation. Bristh MuseumAN926464001 © The Trustees of the British Museum

Large porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with scrolling flower heads inside and outside. Unglazed base. Height: 62 millimetres. Diameter: 343 millimetres

Potters working at Jingdezhen used a blue-generating cobalt pigment imported from the Middle East or Central Asia at this time. It diffuses in patches through the transparent glaze and after cooling appears black where it has burnt through the glaze and pale blue where it is thin. Serving dishes of this type were exported to Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East. These dishes were more suited to foreign dining than Chinese cuisine, which requires a variety of smaller bowls and containers. This example is decorated with a composite flower scroll in the centre.