The current vase is part of a well-known type of wares from the Yongzheng period, delicately painted in the grisaille palette, closely following traditional Chinese ink painting.
It was under the Yongzheng period that this type of decoration first appeared, most likely influenced by European sepia wares. Under the supervision of Superintendent Nian Xiyuao and Tang Ying (as listed by Xie Min, governor of Jianxi province between 1729 and 1734, in the Jiangxi Tongzhi, General Description of the Province of Jiangxi, published in 1732), porcelain wares decorated in black made their first appearance.
This new technique and style of decoration enabled the painter to closely follow the style of traditional Chinese landscape painting, with carefully rendered figures and clever use of shading to depict texture and light. Such wares were among Yongzheng's favourites, reflecting his refined and scholarly taste; it also echoed his great fondness for traditional Chinese ink painting.
It is very rare to find a vase of this shape and proportion with this type of decoration. For a Yongzheng-marked brushpot painted in the grisaille palette, see Michel Beurdeley and Guy Raindre, Qing Porcelain, Famille Verte, Famille Rose, London, 1987, p. 96, pl. 133. For another brushpot similarly decorated to the current vase, with 'painterly' landscapes in sepia, see Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, 1989, p. 239, pl. 68.
Compare also the style of painting on a Yongzheng-marked brush pot, decorated in grisaille with 'painterly' landscapes, sold at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 23 October 2005, lot 207.