This vase with its pleasing broad proportions, thick glaze and two-toned crackle effect successfully imitates the 13th century prototype. It is a reinterpretation of an archaic bronze hu form which was first developed by craftsmen working at the Guan kilns. The Song version is closer to its bronze prototype, with its pear-shaped body, long tubular handles and raised horizontal ribs which echo the cast decorative bands; for example see three vases from the Qing court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pls 40-42. The Northern Song emperor Huizong (r. 1101-25) was a keen collector of both bronze and jade and commissioned ceramic vessels after bronze pieces in his collection. Interest in archaism remained a strong feature of Chinese connoisseurship in the Qing dynasty, especially from the Qianlong era.
Other Qing dynasty vases with apocryphal marks have been sold at auction, including one bearing a Qianlong mark of the same size and distinctive form, sold at Christie's Paris, 11th June 2014, lot 333, and another with a Yongzheng mark from the Gordon collection, sold at Christie's New York, 24th March 2011, lot 1145.
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