The complex geometric shape, which does not come naturally to a potter, was clearly influenced by metal prototypes, probably of Middle Eastern origin, where facetted shapes are not uncommon. Basil Gray, 'The Influence of Near Eastern Metalwork on Chinese Ceramics', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 18, 1940-41, pl. 6c and d, compares a porcelain vase of this form to an earlier Persian bronze rose-water sprinkler in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which is illustrated and discussed also in Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World. 8th-18th Centuries, London, 1982, pl. 5.
A very similar vase of Yongzheng mark and period from the Qing court collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue-and-white porcelain in the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2002, vol. 2, pl. 186, together with a prototype of Xuande mark and period, vol. 1, pl. 83. Two similar vases were sold in these rooms: one on 31st October 2004, lot 181, the other from the Meiyintang collection, 5th October 2011, lot 30. A Yongzheng vase of this pattern decorated in overglaze-yellow and green enamels is in the Baur Collection, Geneva, illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1999, vol. 2, pl. 212.
This design was in the Yongzheng period more common in a slightly different version, with scrolls of morning glory also covering the blank areas of the neck; compare an example of this design in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the exhibition Ming Xuande ciqi tezhan mulu/Catalogue of a Special Exhibition of Hsuan-te Period Porcelain, Taipei, 1980, cat. no. 5.
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