The form has its roots in archaic bronze hu vessels, and the trend for archaism as initiated by the Emperor is evident in the mask-head handles and raised ribs encircling the vase; see a closely related example sold in our London rooms, 13th July 2005, lot 204. Vases of this type, also incised with Yongzheng reign marks and of the period, were produced with slight variations in form and decoration; one with a waisted neck and collared mouthrim, from the Hall Family Collection, was sold twice in these rooms, 2nd May 2000, lot 536, and 10th April 2006, lot 1604; another with a pair of loop handles suspending a fixed buckle-shaped ring on the shoulder, was sold in these rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 3107; and a vase with a rounded body rising to a waisted and slightly flaring neck, the shoulders moulded with handles and fixed rings suspending tassels, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th October 1993, lot 805, and again in these rooms, 7th October 2015, lot 3619.
For a prototype to the form of this vase, see a bronze hu excavated in 1971 from a Western Han tomb dated to before 179 BC at Qianping, Yichang, Hubei province, illustrated in 'Yichang qianping zhanguo lianghan mu [Warring States and Han tombs in Qianping, Yichang]', Kaogu xuebao/Acta Archaeological Sinica, 1976, no. 2, p. 124, fig. 12.
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