Compare this vase with lot 9 from the first part of the present collection, sold in these Rooms, 13 June 2007. It was made with the upper trumpet part of a 16th century yenyen vase but with a 15th century base. When looking at the original form of this vase (cf. fig.1 of the footnote, illustrated in Metal-bodied Enamel Ware - The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong 2002, pl.1.) one can see great similarities with the present lot. Although the shapes are slightly different (the body of the current vase being more globular), both vases have trumpet-shaped upper sections, similar handles, similar chimera masks on the shoulder and they are both supported by gilt-bronze elements (figures and chimeras). See another vase dated from the mid-Qing period, also from the Palace Museum and illustrated in Op. Cit., p.151, pl.143. Its shape is identical to the present lot and the archaistic patterns are very much alike. The differences are the handles in a shape of phenix, the bigger chimera masks on the shoulders and the three chimeras on which the vase is resting.
An identical pair of such vase was sold in our Hong Kong Rooms, 30 May 2005, lo 1284.
For similar gilt-bronze figures see two other pieces kept at the Palace Museum and illustrated in Op. Cit., p.77, pl.74 and p.150. pl.142. The first vessel, a censer from the 17th century, is resting on three kneeling figures almost identical to the present ones. The second piece, a Lama pagoda from the Qianlong period, is carried by four guardians with boots and long skirts similar to those worn by the current figures.