While vases of this complex shape were produced from the Northern Song period, those of this large size and with such deeply carved designs are unusual; compare a vase carved with peony illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu/Ceramic Art of the World, Tokyo, 1977, vol. 12, pl. 32; and another of slightly larger size and modelled with a slightly narrower neck, published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. 1, pl. 608.
Created at the Raozhou kilns in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, qingbai ware, also known as yingqing, refers not to a geographic location as was typical with other wares, but to its appearance. Qing (green) and bai (white) denote the alluring pale blue-green tones of the glaze that so effectively complimented the white porcellaneous body beneath. This distinctive colour was achieved through reduction firing in a wood-fired kiln, a method that also created the russet markings under the foot where the body was left unglazed.
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