The idea for this demanding design appears to originate from the imperial enameling workshops in the Forbidden City in Beijing, where in the Kangxi reign it was tried on a minute copper vessel, a water pot of less than 3 cm height, which is still preserved in the Palace Museum today. Although a large number of different flowers appear on that vessel, their arrangement is less dense and the background was covered with yellow enamel.
A Jiaqing mark and period vase of ovoid form, in the Nanjing Museum, is published in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p. 357; its possible pair, in the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated in Chugoku toji zenshu, vol. 21, Kyoto, 1981, pl. 144; and another of compressed globular form was sold in our London rooms, 17th November 1999, lot 765.
For a Qianlong mark and period version, see a baluster vase in the Musée Guimet, Paris, included in Oriental Ceramics. The World’s Great Collections, vol. 7, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 52; and a compressed pear-shaped vase, from the Avery Brundage Collection and now in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, published in He Li, Chinese Ceramics. A New Comprehensive Study, New York, 1996, pl. 665.
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