No other lacquer vase of this design is known, and few can rival the present lot for its imposing stature and opulent decoration which combines archaism with the distinctive pseudo-rococo style of dense floral motifs prevalent in the Qianlong period.
This vase compares very closely with a porcelain counterpart, a spectacular famille rose yellow-ground baluster vase of very similar shape, size and floral motifs, sold in these Rooms, 29 April 2001, lot 555. It is highly likely that these two vases came from the same imperial palace in Beijing, and that one was made to emulate the other in a different medium. In both cases, the elaborate foliate scroll decoration has been intricately rendered and because of the density of the design, conveys a sense of horror vacui, a characteristic element of the 18th-century rococo style.
The lacquer decoration on the present vase is rarely seen on such a massive vase, although it can be found on a few lacquer pieces on a much smaller scale. For example, the lotus scroll design can be found on a Qianlong-marked circular box and cover, illustrated in Carved Lacquer in the Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1985, pl. 356; while pls. 324 and 325 illustrate two vases with archaistic motifs of phoenix and lappet panels.
Lacquer vases as large as the present lot are extremely rare. Compare a few examples which are nearly as large, a tianqiuping with dragons in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated ibid., pl. 306; and a bottle vase with landscape panels from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections - Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, pl. 166.