Large Chinese famille verte dish, Kangxi (1662-1722), decorated in the centre with a Buddhist lion holding a brocade ball under his right paw, surrounded by butterflies and birds in flight, with clusters of lotus at intervals alternating with large ruyi-shaped cartouches containing stylised lotus heads against a red cell ground, the rim with four further cartouches containing peony and other blooms with flying insects, against a green stippled floral diaper ground scattered with peony and chrysanthemum sprays, the reverse with scrolling garland of lotus blooms and a lingzhi mark within concentric circles to the base.
Diameter 35 cm. (13.1/16 in.)
A similar example can be found in the collection of the National Trust at Melford Hall, Suffolk (KT926296). In Buddhism lions are protectors of temples and other holy places, and are often presented in pairs with the male depicted with a brocade ball, as seen here.