The rich cobalt blue seen on the current vase is referred to as 'sacrificial blue'. This name derives from the use of vessels bearing this colour glaze during sacrifices at the Imperial Altar of Heaven. As outlined by Iain Clark in Blessings and Guidance. the Qianlong Emperor's design for state sacrificial vessels, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2019, p. 27, the Altar to Heaven was linked with the deep blue colour of the sky.
The form of the current vase is extremely rare. However, two larger Yongzheng reign-marked vases of similar form have been sold at auction, the first in these rooms, 20th November 1984, lot 486, the second at Christie's New York, 16th September 1998, lot 393. For a Yongzheng reign-marked monochrome vase sharing the same rich sacrifical-blue glaze, see the olive-shape vase sold in these rooms, 8th April 2011, lot 3001.
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