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Dish, Ming dynasty, Yongle period, 1403-1424. Jingdezhen ware. Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue decor; 2 15/16 x 15 3/4 in. (7.46 x 40.01 cm). Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton. 2003.140.1. Minneapolis Institute of Arts © 2014 Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Painted with two lush peony blooms in the center, this exceptional example of early Ming blue-and-white is notable for its bold design, softness of brushwork, and subtle, controlled shading. The work exhibits the saturated "heaped and piled" spots of intense, cobalt-blue found in the best Yung-lo era (1403-24) porcelains.

The central blossoms are encircled in the cavetto by an elaborate lotus scroll of eight blooms, and the flared flat-lipped rim with eight detached flower and fruit sprays including chrysanthemum, pomegranate, and camillias among others.

An identical dish was excavated from the early Yung-lo stratum at the Chung-hua Road site at the Ming Imperial Factory at Ching-te-chen.