The large porcelain plate with a flowers and spirals motif painted in underglaze cobalt blue is one of the most precious types of Chinese porcelain. In the Yongle (1402–1424) and Xuande (1425–1435) periods of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the colour known as Mohammedan blue was used to paint porcelain; this pigment was obtained in central Asia by Chinese explorers during their travels in Central Asia, which were historically unprecedented. Unlike other types of cobalt blue, Mohammedan blue creates small darker-hued crystals in the painted pattern after firing, which was highly prized by later collectors of Chinese porcelain. The peony, which is the main decorative motif, symbolizes abundance and many offspring. That may be why it was often depicted on porcelains designed to decorate interiors.