Previously sold in these Rooms, 1 May 1994, lot 646.
Two fahua jars of this same 'birds in lotus pond' decoration are published, the first from the Salting Bequest in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is illustrated by J. Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 158; and the other is illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, fig. 816. A related jar with lotus lappets on the shoulder in the Matsuoka Museum of Art is illustrated in Selected Masterpieces of Oriental Ceramics, pl. 61, and again by R. Fujioka and G. Hasebe in Sekai toji Zenshu, vol. 14, Ming, Shogakukan, Tokyo, 1976, p. 135, no. 136. Compare the same design, without the egrets, on a meiping vase sold in these Rooms, 30 May 2005, lot 1452.
This same theme of egrets wading through water continued in the Qing period, and provide the inspiration for archaistic styles such as the pair of famille rose fahua-style jars and covers sold in these Rooms, 30 May 2005, lot 1241. Egrets provide a homonym for lu, 'a path', and alludes to attainment. When this imagery is combined with flowering lotus it forms the rebus, Yilu lianke, 'May you achieve success in examinations', which is reference in the wish to attain an official position.