Previously sold at Christie's Hong Kong, April 26 1998,lot 570.
These vases are remarkably light-weight for their size which possibly suggests their skeletal material is cloth rather than metal or wood. Only the mouth rims of these vases appear to be strengthened with the use of bronze metal and since they are substantially tall, the base plates probably provide additional weight for stability.
The carving is unusually deep and crisp on this pair of vases, the design is remarkably complex. Compare with a brushpot in The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, carved from equally thick lacquer with scholars and attendants within elaborate gardens, illustrated by Hai-Wai Yi-Chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections, Lacquerware, pl. 163; and a bottle vase with medallions carved around the body enclosing figures in landscapes reserved on a thick floral ground in The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated in op. cit., pl. 166.