Meiping, in the Yongle period perhaps still used as wine jars, were made in various sizes and were equally popular in China and abroad, as examples preserved both in the Chinese palace collections and the Safavid and Ottoman royal collections in Iran and Turkey document. Although some scholars have attributed some of these vases to the Xuande reign (1426-35), all vessels of this design appear to be unmarked.
Several early Ming meiping of similar design and size as the present vase are in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see a Yongle piece illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji [Complete series on Chinese ceramics], Shanghai, 1999-2000, vol. 12, pl. 12; another in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang gu taoci ciliao xuancui [Selection of ancient ceramic material from the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2005, vol. 1, pl. 85; and a third, attributed to the Xuande period, published in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue-and-white porcelain in the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2002, vol. 1, cat. no. 76.
Two blue and white meiping of this design, one attributed to the Yongle, the other to the Xuande period, are also in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Minji meihin zuroku [Illustrated catalogue of important Ming porcelains], Tokyo, 1977-78, vol. 1, pls 12 and 39, the two examples slightly varying in proportion, and the latter with the design more tightly arranged, and with a cover.
For two similar vases out of a total of six from the Ottoman Royal collection, see Regina Krahl and John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. 2, London, 1986, no. 624; and four meiping of this design from the Safavid Royal collection preserved in the Ardabil Shrine in Iran are recorded and one of them illustrated in John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, D.C., 1956 (rev. ed., London, 1981), pl. 51 top right.
Three meiping of this design and similar size were sold in our Hong Kong rooms; one from the Edward T. Chow collection on 19th May 1981, lot 409; another from a Nagoya tea ceremony collection on 8th April 2014, lot 3023; and a third on 7th October 2015, lot 3607. A larger Yongle vase from the Estate of Laurance S. Rockefeller was sold in these rooms, 21st/22nd September 2005, lot 64.
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