For a discussion of the form and function of bottles of this type, see the footnote to lot 301.
While most bottles of this type are decorated with birds in flight or abstract floral imagery, this unusual example is one of the few known to be decorated with an identifiable flower. The chrysanthemum is symbolic of Autumn and, since it was the favorite flower of the celebrated poet Tao Qian (Tao Yuanming, 365-427), is also symbolic of literary pursuits.
Similar bottles are in the collection of Simon Kwan, illustrated in Song Ceramics, Hong Kong, 1994, p. 346, no. 155, and in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 32 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (I), Hong Kong, 1996, p. 237, no. 213. Other examples include one in the collection of R. Hatfield Ellsworth, illustrated by R. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 1996, no. 56; the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1996, p. 166, no. 309; and the bottle illustrated by R. L. Hobson, The George Eumorfopoulos Collection: Catalogue of the Chinese, Corean and Persian Pottery and Porcelain, vol. 2, London, 1926, p. 49, fig. B281.