Longquan vases of this distinct shape were seldom made with handles in the form of lingzhi, although three related examples are known; one is illustrated in Longquan qingci [Longquan celadon], Beijing, 1966, p. 40; another was sold in these rooms, 14th May 1983, lot 452; and a third was sold in our London rooms, 9th June 1987, lot 182.
This particular form, which was popular in the Song dynasty, is believed to have been inspired by glass vases made in the Middle East, possibly Iran. A glass bottle probably from Nishapur, was recovered at the tomb of the Princess of Chen of the Liao dynasty (907-1125), dating to no later than 1018 and illustrated in Grand View: Special Exhibition of Ju Ware from the Northern Sung Dynasty, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2007, p. 121, fig. 2. Furthermore, fragments of glass vases of this form were recovered from the cargo of the Intan shipwreck, which sank off the Indonesian coast, and is believed to date to the Northern Song period.