The present flask with its elegantly curved shape and unusual 'robin's-egg' glaze is typical of the Yongzheng period, when there was an emphasis on producing monochrome wares in stylish shapes and beautiful glaze. Simple yet elegant designs in ceramics reflected the Yongzheng emperor's very fine taste.
It is extremely rare to find 'robin's egg' glazed flasks of this form and more common are those covered in tea-dust glaze; for example see one, also with a Yongzheng reign mark and of the period, sold in these rooms, 21st May 1979, lot 126; and a pair sold in our London rooms, 10th December 1985, lot 271. A Yongzheng blue and white flask of the same shape and size decorated with interlocking lotus sprays in underglaze-red is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), Shanghai, 2000, pl. 200.
Compare also a ‘robin’s egg’ glazed flask of Yongzheng mark and period in the Chang Foundation, Taipei, with the more conventional globular body, illustrated in Spencer, Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 132, together with a doucai decorated flask of the present form, of Qianlong mark and period, pl.160.
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