The form of this elegant qingbai meiping is characteristic of Northern Song production at the Jingdezhen kilns. The gently rounded, sloping shoulders, somewhat extended neck, and truncated conical mouth differentiate it from the meiping forms of the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties. See S. Pierson (ed.), Qingbai Ware: Chinese Porcelain of the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Percival David Foundation, London, 2002, p. 22, figs. 15-17. The current vase appears to be the largest of the published qingbai examples of this form with incised lobes. A slightly smaller qingbai vase, formerly in the collection of His Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, which is now in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm and illustrated in The World's Great Collections, Oriental Ceramics, vol. 8, Tokyo, 1982, no. 36, is of the same shape and decoration as the Barron collection example. For another slightly smaller white vase of similar form, see J. Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, fig. 87.
The use of vertical, finely incised, parallel lines to produce a lobed effect can also be seen on a late Northern Song qingbai ewer in a Japanese collection and designated an Important Cultural Property. See Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (ed.), Song Ceramics, Tokyo, 1999, p. 83, no. 46. The subtle incised lobing seen on the current vase and the ewer, continued in popularity after the Northern Song period, and was transferred in the Southern Song to other qingbai vessel forms from the Jingdezhen kilns. The distinctive straight foot and finely incised lobing on this meiping vase can be seen on two published Southern Song vessels. These are a lidded jar with columnar neck and four small lugs on the shoulder in the Shanghai Museum, and a dish-mouthed jar which has a coilded, modelled dragon around the columnar neck, excavated at Shunchangxian, Fujian, and now in the Fujian Provincial Museum. See Zhongguo taoci quanji 16 Song Yuan Qingbaici, Shanghai, 1984, nos. 34 and 30 respectively.
A qingbai meiping of the some shape as the Barron example, but with a somewhat less pronounced torque around the shoulder, is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing. See Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 33 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pp. 182-3, no. 166. The Beijing vase does not have the incised lobing of the current vessel, but instead is decorated with a carved floral scroll set against a ground textured with dotted combing. Another qingbai vase of this form with floral scrolls on a striated ground is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum and illustrated by G. Hasebe, Sekai toji zenshu 12 Song, Tokyo, 1977, p. 169, no. 165.
The current vase has a particularly beautiful ice-blue glaze. There is a thicker band of glaze around the middle of the vessel, which is the result of the vase being dipped in the glaze vat twice and the two layers of glaze overlapping. On this meiping the slightly deeper color of the thicker glaze serves to enhance the swelling form of the vessel. In contrast to the refinement of the current vase, a rougher version of this form was made at the Lushan kilns in Henan province. See P. Hughes-Stanton and R. Kerr, Kiln Sites of Ancient China, Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1980, p. 157, no. 415. Since the Lushan vase lacks the fine white porcelain body of the current qingbai vase, the Henan potters have covered the vessel with white slip, giving it a heavier appearance.