The form of this ewer derives from Islamic metalwork. Popular in the late Ming dynasty, Islamic-style ewers were produced in a variety of materials including porcelain, jade, and metal. See for example a white and russet jade example excavated from the Dingling Mausoleum, Beijing, and carved with a peach, wanzi
, and shou
character on the raised panels, illustrated in Gu Fang, Zhongguo chutu yuqi quanji
/ The Complete Collection of Jades Unearthed in China
, vol. 1, Beijing, 2005, pl. 65. Compare also a slightly earlier spinach-green jade example with a floral spray carved into the lobed panel, with the remaining surface undecorated, illustrated in James C. Y. Watt, Chinese Jades in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum
, Seattle, 1989, pl. 96. See also a mid to late Ming celadon jade example illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Jadeware (II),
Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 206, carved allover with the 'Eight Immortals' and with elaborate fittings; a plain white jade ewer with a dragon-form handle from the collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, attributed to the 16th/17th century, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27th November 2007, lot 1538; and a 16th-17th century celadon jade ewer carved with blossoming prunus trees in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, exhibited in Jade: From Emperors to Art Deco,
Musée Guimet, Paris, 2016, cat. no. 110.
For contemporaneous examples in porcelain, compare the aubergine-glazed ewer with pierced dragon panels in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, illustrated in Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1953, pl. 50A. See also a group of mid-16th century kinrande-decorated ewers illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection: Ceramics, vol. II, Geneva, 1969, pls. A177-179.