Bells are rare forms in porcelain and those with blue and white decoration are particularly rare. A blue and white bell with a similar dragon handle to the current lot from the Tianqi period (1621-1627) was sold in our London rooms, 12 November 2002, lot 13. Another bell of the same size and form to the Tianqi bell is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing (The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 35 - Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red II, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 1995, p. 232-3, no. 212.) Compare also with a similarly shaped Qianlong white-glazed bell in the Palace Museum, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Monochrome Porcelain, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 1995, p. 129, no.118. There is also a 'snowflake'-blue-glazed bell from the Kangxi period with a dragon handle also in the Palace Museum, ibid, p. 90, no. 83.
The bell's blue and white decoration is in a similar 'pencilled' style to a group of Qianlong blue and white stem bowls with leafy lotus scrolls and lanca characters. A stem bowl of this type was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 November 2007, lot 1698.