Blue-and-white vessels based on early Ming shapes and using early Ming motifs, such as these ewers, belong to the classic repertoire of the imperial Jingdezhen kilns during the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods, but it is extremely rare to find a ewer of this type, which represents a reinterpretation rather than a close copy of an earlier style.
One identical ewer from the Ohlmer collection in the Roemer-Museum, Hildesheim, Germany, has been published in the collection catalogue by Ulrich Wiesner, Chinesisches Porzellan, Mainz am Rhein, 1981, no. 70, colour plate p. 197, with a detail showing one of the dragon panels illustrated on the cover.
The shape is reminiscent of that of a Yongle ewer from the collection of T.Y. Chao, also decorated with dragon panels but lacking the flower scrolls, lacking also the cloud-shaped strut and differing in proportion, which was sold twice in our London rooms, 1974 and 1977, and in these rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 228.
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