A RARE BRONZE-IMITATION ARCHAISTIC HANDLED VASE SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
A slightly smaller Qianlong mark and period vase of this form, decorated with gilt and silver-painted geometric motifs, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 15, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 108; and a slightly larger vase, with a Jingweitang zhi ('Made for the Hall of Awesome Reverence') hall mark, is published in Qingdai ciqi shangjian [Appreciation of Qing dynasty porcelain], Shanghai, 1994, pl. 151.
The form of this vase is taken from an archaic bronze ritual lei vessel, while its animal handles derive from fou vessels of the Eastern Zhou period (770-256 BC); compare for example a bronze fou with handles cast in the form of an animal with its head sharply turned backwards, unearthed in Henan province, illustrated in Jenny So, Eastern Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 1995, pl. 34.2.