The three great Qing emperors, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, were all enthusiastic collectors of antiques, and required that certain of the ceramics made for their courts were made in the ancient style. This rare Yongzheng vase, with a crackled glaze made in imitation of Song dynasty Ge ware, reflects the early Qing fascination with the classic wares of the past.
The subtle beauty of Ge-type glazes seems to have greatly appealed to the Yongzheng emperor, and several fine examples are to be seen in the imperial collections. Two reign-marked vessels from the Palace Museum, Beijing, are illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 37 - Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pp. 248-9, nos. 226-7, while two others from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, are illustrated in Catalogue of A Special Exhibition of Ch'ing-Dynasty Monochrome Porcelains in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1981, pp. 137-9, nos. 82 and 83.