For a 15th century prototype, cf. a vase and cover excavated from the tomb of Yong Wang, at Shijingshan, Beijing, illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 14, p. 162, no. 141; and another dated to the Yongle period, from the collection of Mr and Mrs R H R Palmer, sold in our London Rooms, 14 June 1982, lot 80.
An almost identical meiping, measuring 35.5 cm. high, dated to the Yongzheng period in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, p. 172, no. 1; where it is catalogued as "the Three Friends of Winter". The decorative elements of the flowering blossoms and bamboo, despite the absence of pine trees, relate well to the present vase. Compare the pointed blossoms of the lamei or wintersweet, depicted on a woodblock print taken from Yecai Bolu, Comprehensive Account of Edible Wild Plants, dated to 1622 A.D., illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics: Selected articles from Orientations 1982-1998, 'Plant Motifs of Chinese Porcelain: Examples from the Topkapi Saray Identified through the Bencao Gangmu, Part II', June 1987, p. 153. It is worthy to note that the blossoms on the excavated meiping are also painted with pointed petals.
Another Qing dynasty meiping of this decoration in the Summer Palace, Chengde, is illustrated together with a lid, in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Daquan, Ceramics, Hong Kong, 1993, p. 435, no. 914.