Vases of this particular shape, which is believed to have been derived from a Tibetan kalasha vase, are rare and few examples are known in private and museum collections. The earliest recorded example of a cloisonné enamel vase of this form dated to the 15th century and decorated around the body with large lotus flowers, is in the Uldry Collection, Geneva, illustrated in Helmut Brinker and Albert Lutz, Chinese Cloisonne. The Pierre Uldry Collection, New York, 1989, col. pl. 9. Two other vases of this form but slightly smaller than the present example, one similarly decorated around the body with small lion-dogs, the other with rows of scrolling lotus flowers, both similarly applied with gilt-bronze dragon handles, are in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pls. 35 and 37. Unlike the present vase, the second example has a gilt-metal base chased with a Jingtai mark and dated to the mid-Ming period. Finally, for vase of the same form but decorated with painted enamels and bearing a Yongzheng mark, see Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1989, cat. no. 98.
The design of lion dogs playfully engaging with each other is also unusual and can be found on a few rare examples dated to the mid-Ming Dynasty, among others on a rectangular tray, a cuspidor-shaped jar and a tripod censer, illustrated ibid., pls. 21, 39 and 41.