The design on the present vase can also be associated with 'European subject' porcelain wares of the period, which stemmed from the Qianlong Emperor's penchant for curious and exotic objects. As Michel Beurdeley and Guy Raindre note in Qing Porcelain: Famille Verte, Famille Rose, London, 1987, p. 124, to entertain the Emperor and his princes, 'Chinese ceramic artists found it amusing to incorporate figures depicted in the 'European manner' in their designs'. It is rare to find foreigners painted on porcelain, as they were more frequently enameled on metal. See a pair of famille-rose incense holders depicting a continuous scene of foreign tribute bearers, with Qianlong four-character seal marks, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th April 2017, lot 3108. For an ovoid famille-rose vase painted with a similar scene, with a blue-enameled mark, see one exhibited in Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Enamelled Porcelains of the Imperial Ateliers, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1992, cat. no. 141. See also a brushpot with a continuous scene of Europeans on a horse-drawn carriage, the base with a blue-enameled mark, formerly in the collection of A.W. Bahr and Paul and Helen Bernat, sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, 15th November 1988, lot 36, and 9th October 2007, lot 1213.
Compare a plaque enameled in a similar manner and with a related scene, attributed to the Jiaqing period, and formerly in the YC Chen Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2013, lot 1957. A pair of large Jiaqing mark and period vases, each enameled with a procession of foreign tribute bearers, sold at Christie's London, 15th May 2012, lot 318. A further Jiaqing mark and period turquoise-ground jardinière enclosing vignettes of foreign tribute bearers sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 7th October 2010, lot 2161. See also a plaque molded in low-relief with processions of foreign tribute bearers, also attributed to the Jiaqing period, sold at Christie's New York, 30th May 1991, lot 371.
The subject of foreign tribute bearers is also depicted in a number of Qing court paintings, such as Envoys from Vassal States and Foreign Countries Presenting Tribute to the Emperor in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Qing Court Paintings, #14, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 64. For a Ming dynasty vase with the same theme, see a 16th century underglaze-blue double gourd vase, sold at Christie's London, 14th May 2013, lot 199.
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