This jar is striking for the unusually bold and vigorous execution of the design as well as the vivid colour of the cobalt. It is rare to find a jar of this type from the interregnum period retaining its cover; a closely related example, but missing its cover, with creatures moving in the opposite direction against a background of clouds and rocky peaks instead of the stylised clouds and emblems of the present jar, in the Tianjin Municipal Museum, Tianjin, is illustrated in Tianjin shi yishi bowuguan cang ci, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 93.
Geng Baochang discusses this group of wares in Ming Qing ciqi jianding, Hong Kong, 1993, p. 74, remarking on the close relationship of these pieces to porcelain commissioned by the court in the late Xuande period and referring to them as imperial wares; he illustrates a related jar, painted with a qillin and a lion between a peony, banana plant and similarly surrounded by emblems and clouds, pl. 127, previously sold in our New York rooms, 29th November 1988, lot 180, which he attributed to the Zhengtong period. Compare a jar painted with a qilin and a peacock amongst flowers and with a similar diaper rim border illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, Tokyo, 1976, pls 39 and 40.
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