The shape of this vessel, probably made specifically for the Islamic market, conforms to metal prototypes made in the Middle East and introduced to Asia by Muslim invaders during their conquest of the Indian subcontinent during the 13th and 14th centuries. There is a long tradition of extremely skilled Islamic metalwork; it was a particularly popular medium for luxury goods from Late Antiquity as the Qur’an states that vessels of silver and gold await the blessed in Paradise. Chinese ceramics had been imported to the Middle East since at least the 9th century and were highly prized alongside metalware as luxury items and as models for Islamic potters. Blue and white porcelain formed an important part of this ceramic exchange; indeed during the Ming period cobalt was often referred to by the Chinese as ‘Muslim blue’. As production developed and the Islamic market grew, Chinese potters adapted designs to deliberately cater for Middle Eastern tastes and requirements, producing large platters and ewers based on pre-existing metal prototypes, such as this. Like their metal counterparts, such vessels would have held scented rosewater to be offered to guests upon their arrival at a house in order to wash their hands and feet. The more lavish the vessel, whether made from copper, silver, gold or porcelain, the wealthier the household.