The festive nature of the ‘Hundred Boys’ design brings much animation and vivacity to the composition on these vases. The subject of boys or of children was very popular on decorative arts of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Traditionally, they represent the wish for abundant offspring, or in
particular, sons, and wealth. This theme can be found on several Qianlong vases, similarly rendered as on the present lot, with boys at play within a garden scenery against a mountainous backdrop.
A number of these vases are in the Palace Museum, Beijing, including a large baluster jar, a small covered jar, and a lantern-form vase, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pp. 138-139, no. 121 (fig. 1), p. 146, no. 128 (fig. 2), and p. 150, no. 132 (fig. 3). Compare, also, a lantern vase of this design in the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p. 320 (fig. 4); a pair of ruby-ground vases in private collection, illustrated in One Thousand Years of Jingdezhen, Tokyo,2006, p, 71, no. 49; and a large turquoise-ground vase sold
at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 May 2014, lot 3326; and a pair of famille rose and underglaze blue vases, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 30 October 2002, lot 267.