This vessel form, with its superbly harmonious profile, integrating its cover, and its unusual C-shaped motifs on the sides appears to have originated during the Kangxi reign. The shape is often called riyueguan ('sun-and-moon jar'), its cover supposedly representing the sun and the crescents at its sides the moon, but no comparable iconography appears to be known from other works of art. A rare Kangxi version of this design in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is included in the exhibition Catalog of the Special Exhibition of K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch'ing Dynasty in the National Museum Palace, Taipei, 1986, cat. no. 27.
A similar jar from the Meiyintang Collection was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 14; and another from the T.Y. Chao Collection was sold in the same rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 283; one without a cover in the Hong Kong Museum of Art was included in the museum's exhibition The Wonders of the Potter's Palette. Qing Ceramics from the Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1984-5, cat. no. 79; and a Daoguang variant, lacking the raised C-shaped motifs, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is published in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang gu taoci ciliao xuancui [Selection of ancient ceramic material from the Palace Museum], vol. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 278.