Imported Chinese blue-and-white strongly influenced Middle Eastern ceramic traditions. This magnificent plate was produced in the great ceramic town of Ching-te-chen in southern China specifically for the Middle Eastern market. Near the beginning of the blue-and-white tradition, Middle Eastern merchants living in China, who understood the ceramic needs and decorative taste of the Islamic countries, most likely commissioned works like this. It was, for example, the custom to serve food from large plates in Islamic countries but not in China. Likewise, the foliate rim and the densely painted floral decor executed with imported "Mohammadan blue" (cobalt oxide) were aimed specifically at Middle Eastern taste, which the Chinese considered somewhat vulgar during the fourteenth century.