The form of this vessel is taken from a Tibetan metalwork original; its name, Bumpa, is transliterated from the Tibetan word for 'vase'. The Bumpa was used as a sacrificial utensil container for herbs placed on an altar before the image of Buddha. For a silver example see, Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Qing Palace, Beijing, 1992, p. 190, no. 146. This metalwork shape is also imitated in the ceramic form as seen illustrated by R. Kerr, Chinese Ceramics, Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911, London, 1986, pl. 59; where the author suggests that the vessel simulated inlaid pewter.
Examples decorated in the famille rose palette are known, differing only by their colored enamel ground. Compare three pairs of these vases from the Fonthill Heirlooms, the Alfred Morrison Collection, sold in our London rooms, 8 October 1971: the first pair, lot 71, designed with a pink ground; lot 72, a ruby-red ground; and lot 73, an imperial yellow ground.