Of circular form with foliate rim, decorated in underglaze blue, the centre with two deer in a wooded landscape standing in the shade of an old pine tree with gnarled trunk, surrounded by stylised rockwork, above the deer a flying insect hovers, the scene enclosed within a border decorated with fish scale-pattern, divided by ruyi heads, the wide rim with eight moulded panels decorated with auspicious objects including a double gourd and pomegranates together with panels of birds, each shaped panel separated by narrow bands decorated with beaded pattern, the back with a further eight stylised panels divided by narrow bands.
Footnote: For a similar example see Maura Rinaldi, Kraak Porcelain, A Moment in the History of Trade, London, 1989, p. 97, pl. 84, see also Jessica Harrison-Hall, Catalogue of Late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum pl. 11:111 for a similar example with panel-moulded sides. Our example differs in having double gourds and pomegranates in the panels.
The Ardebil Shrine also has a number of these dishes pre-dating 1611, see Pope, The Ardebil Shrine, 1956, pl.104,cat.no 29.171