Compare with a massive blue and white Kangxi period five-piece garniture sold Christie's New York, 23 January 2001, lot 13.
The five-piece garniture, most often seen in this configuration of three covered vases and two open, had become a classic in Chinese export porcelain by the late 17th century. Referring to the Vung Tao sale held Christie's Amsterdam, 7-8 April 1992, D.S. Howard writes that "It is clear from examination of this 1695 cargo that the most important part was vases and garnitures" (Choice of the Private Trader, p. 236). Although quickly adopted for fashionable European house decoration and popular until at least 1800 the five-piece garniture actually derives straight from a very Chinese prototype: the altar garniture. Sets of this grand scale were obviously expensive and intended for very grand houses, where they might have stood in the fireplace in summer or on the floor of the hall.