Jade as Sculpture, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, 1975, cat.no. 64.
Vessels of this type were an important part of marriage rituals in China, with the two compartments of the vessel symbolizing the union of the bride and groom. The name of the vessel 'champion vase' is derived from the Chinese name of vessels of this form yingxiong ping. The eagle (ying) and the bear (xiong) jointly symbolise courage and together form a rebus for 'champion or hero' (yingxiong).
See a related champion vase bearing the mark da qing qianlong fanggu, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 151; and another included in A Romance with Jade from the De An Tang Collection, Beijing, 2004, pl. 131. Compare also the vase in this sale, lot 20.
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