Square dish, Ming dynasty, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566), China, Jiangxi province. Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration, qinghua ware. H. 1 3/4 in x W. 5 3/8 in x D. 5 3/8 in, H. 4.4 cm x W. 13.7 cm x D. 13.7 cm. The Avery Brundage Collection, B62P116. © 2016 Asian Art Museum Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture.
Square-shaped shallow bowls were common in blue-and-white and overglaze polychrome decorated types during the Jiajing period. This piece has four-folded corners and an unglazed rim that was intended to be colored later.. The main design motif, a conventional dragon playing with a pearl, on the interior bottom is boldly and swiftly drawn. It is bordered by a floral band on the rim. The dragon on each of the four sides on the exterior of the dish is accompanied by a phoenix in each corner. The inscription is written in a powerful, sophisticated manner.