The shape of this vase is sometimes known as 'champion's vase', an appellation translated from the Chinese, ying (eagle) and xiong (bear), describing the two beasts represented, but also forming the pun on the word for 'champion' or 'hero'. Alternatively, the vessel is also known as a 'nuptial cup', he jing bei, as it is believed that during the Ming dynasty, it was used as a ritual wine vessel during the wedding ceremony. The double cylinders were filled with wine to be drunk by the bride and groom as part of the marriage rites.
Although vases of this form were popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties, this example is a very stylised interpretation of earlier Han dynasty bronzes. It is interesting to compare this piece to lot 1545 from the present sale which is far more faithful to the original archaic form but lacking the elaborate Qing refinement of the present vase.
For a very similar spinach-jade double vase and cover, compare one in the Victoria and Albert Museum illustrated by M. Wilson, Chinese Jades, London, 2004, p. 105, pl. 103; a further Qianlong adapation of the form can be seen in a larger spinach-green jade example exhibited at the Minneapolis Museum of Art, Three Dynasties of Jade, 1971, Catalogue no. 34.