Two similar vases of slightly larger size, but with tasseled pendants encircling the mouth, were sold in our London rooms, the first, from the Hay Collection, 25th June 1946, lot 24, and the second, 21st June 1983, lot 249; and another was sold at Christie’s London, 27th November 1967, lot 42. Compare also larger vases decorated with the dragon and phoenix design, but with a lotus scroll on the neck and bordered by various design bands, such as one in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming imperial porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-74; two sold in these rooms, one, with a reduced rim, from the collection of Dr. Hsi Hai Chang, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Chinese Republic, 23rd-24th May 1974, lot 352, and the other, 15th March 2015, lot 11; and a fourth vase sold at Christie’s New York, 28th March 1996, lot 343, and published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4, pt. 1, London, 2010, pl. 1697.
Vases of this type can also be found painted in the wucai palette; see one formerly in the Lindley-Scott Collection and later sold in our London rooms, 4th July 1945, lot 80, included in Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1988, pl. 187; another in the Chang Foundation Collection published in James Spencer, Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 110; and a third sold in our Los Angeles rooms, 2nd November 1981, lot 304.
The shape of this vase, with its bulbous head, appears to be based on archaic bronze versions, such as a pair attributed to the Western Han period (206 BC – AD 9), sold twice in these rooms, 12th-13th March 1975, lot 157, and again, 22nd March 2011, lot 191, from the collection of J.T. Tai & Co. Chenghua blue and white porcelain also served as inspiration; for an example of which, see a pear-shaped vase rising to a lotus bud-shaped mouth with raised overlapping layers of petals, the body painted with lotus blooms on meandering leafy stems, sold in these rooms, 9th October 2007, lot 1557.
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