Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 May 1994, lot 194 and sold again at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 30 October 2002, lot 292.
Qing dynasty underglaze-red ceramics decorated with the use of fine 'pencil-line' drawings are very rare. This decorative technique can be found as early as the Kangxi period, as seen on a large fish jar, a floral-decorated waterpot and a dragon bowl, all in the Beijing Palace Museum collection, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (III), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, nos. 167, 168 and 169 respectively. It was also adopted in the Yongzheng reign, see ibid., no. 170, a pear-shaped vase and no. 171, a meiping. Although no other examples are known, the painting style of the dragons amidst ruyi-clouds on the present vase is very closely related to those painted on a jar in the Palace Museum, ibid., no. 178.
The arrangment of the motifs into registers along the particularly slender neck of the present vase is reminiscent of a pear-shaped vase dated to the Kangxi period in the Palace Museum, designed with scrolling lotus on the body, ibid., no. 165. It is mentioned that the Kangxi vase had taken its inspiration from those of the Ming dynasty Hongwu period.