The most prestigious decorative motif seen in the three-dimensional arts made for the Chinese imperial court in the Qing dynasty is the Imperial dragon - the symbol of the Son of Heaven, the Emperor himself. Carefully incised with finely rendered scales and claws, the dragons on this vase raise their heads in lively anticipation of grasping the flaming pearl.
A very similar vase from an English private collection is illustrated by Marchant in Imperial Chinese Porcelain, Ceramics & Works of Art, London, 2013, p. 82, no. 39. See, also, a bottle vase of comparable height to the present lot, Jiaqing mark and period, decorated with a similar pattern of incised green-enameled dragons on a yellow ground, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by J. Ayers and M. Sato in Ceramic Art of the World, Volume 15, Ch’ing Dynasty, Tokyo, 1983, p. 184, no. 236.