The design and shape of this ewer is very rare. A similar wine pot in the National Palace Museum, is illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taiwan, 1999, p. 201, pl. 100; and another was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 October 2003, lot 727.
It is highly likely that the present vessel takes its inspiration from a Western form. The Yongzheng Emperor, following on from his predecessor Kangxi, was open to learning about Western advancements, particularly in the arts and sciences. The present lot is representative of Yongzheng's interest in the West and in the innovations which were brought from the West to China. Not only was the technique of enamelling on metal a relatively novel Western-style medium for use in the arts, but the form that the vessel has taken is based on contemporaneous pots made in Europe in metal (silver or pewter) as well as porcelain. Pots of this form, with the handle set at a right angle were usually used for hot chocolate, but pots of this particular pear shape with similar spout and a similar handle set opposite the spout are also known.