The design of the current vase is known as a 'champion vase', as the Chinese words for eagle, ying, and bear, xiong, provides the pun on the word for 'champion', ying xiong. This type of vessel is also known as a 'nuptial cup', he jin bei, as it is believed that these vases were used in the Ming Dynasty during wedding ceremonies, when the bride and groom drank wine from them as part of the marriage rites. Although this form was popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it is probably based on an earlier archaic bronze prototype from the Han dynasty. Compare the present lot to a similar white jade 'champion' vase and cover from the Alan and Simone Hartman collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 November 2007, lot 1547. This example was illustrated by Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 77; and exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in August 2003 - December 2004.