Vessels of this type are inspired by archaic bronze vessels from as early as the Western Han dynasty. Its name 'champion vase' is a translation of the Chinese name for this type of vessel yingxiong ping. The eagle (ying) and the bear (xiong) together form a rebus for 'champion or hero' (yingxiong). A very similar vase with cover can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum and was included in the exhibition, Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, London, 1975, cat.no. 442. See also a white jade champion vase, from the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the exhibition The Refined Taste of the Emperor: Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch'ing Court, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, cat.no. 17; another in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji, vol. 6, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 244; and two further examples published in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, pls. 72 and 73.
For an earlier example of jade vessels of this type see a champion vase of the Song dynasty, from the collection of Desmond Gure, illustrated in Desmond Gure, 'Selected Examples from the Jade Exhibition at Stockholm, 1963, a Comparative Study', Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no. 36, 1964, pl. 32; and another in the St. Louis Art Museum published in James C.Y. Watt, Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Washington D.C., 1980, p. 157, pl. 128, where it is mentioned that this form must have persisted in a continuous tradition for nearly two thousand years.
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