Famille rose enamels were first incorporated into the doucai palette during the Yongzheng period, their range of transparent, translucent and opaque colors, stand in strong contrast to the cobalt-blue contours of the doucai decoration, creating an unprecedented visual interplay both rich in color and texture.
During the Qianlong period, the production of doucai wares was taken to new heights, bringing more elaborate designs that required exceptionally high standards of painting and enameling. The present vase testifies to such technical dexterity and artistic sophistication. The outlines of the scrolling doucai borders had to be meticulously painted in underglaze blue to create a complex but well-balanced composition, which compliments the famille rose-decorated central panel, endowing the colorful and much textured scene with resplendence.
The present vase belongs to a small group of vessels featuring this combination of techniques and alternation floral decoration and poetic inscriptions. A virtually identical moonflask of this design featuring the same inscription was sold at Sotheby's London, 16 June 1998, lot 289. Other examples from this group include a tall doucai and famille rose vase with alternating panels of poetic inscriptions and floral branches in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Yeh Pei-Lang, Gems of the Doucai, Taiwan, 1993, p. 106, pl. 113. Like the present example, the Palace Museum vase features elaborate handles decorated in bright famille rose enamels. Also illustrated, p. 109, pl. 116, is another Qianlong doucai moonflask decorated with landscape scenes, but with similar floral scroll bands on the narrow sides and neck.