Waterpots of this form are known as taibai zun, after the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, who is often depicted leaning against a large wine jar of similar form. They are also known as qizhao zun because their shape resembles that of a chicken coop. Such waterpots belong to the group of eight peachbloom wares for the scholar's desk, the 'Eight Great Numbers', ba da ma, of which a complete set is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989 (rev. ed.), p. 237. Another complete set of eight from the Jingguantang Collection was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3 November 1996, lot 557.
Similar waterpots can be found in many important museum collections including the Palace Museum, Beijing; the Percival David Foundation, London; and one was included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition, Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, 1976, no. 52.