Ceramic production in China had reached its golden age during the Song dynasty (960-1279), and starting from the early Ming period, the imperial kilns had actively experimented with recreating monochrome wares from the famous Song kilns, including the fabled Ru wares. The development of high quality Song replicas had reached its zenith under the Qianlong Emperor, who himself was a passionate collector of antiquities. Under his guidance the spirit of archaism was often met with creative innovation, as seen in the current example, where an attractive Ru-type glaze was applied onto a naturalistic plant-form vessel. The Palace Museum, Beijing has a washer in the form of peaches, also applied with a rich Ru-type glaze, illustrated in Monochrome Porcelain, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 239, pl. 217. The current example compares closely with an identical vase of slightly larger size, included in the exhibition Qing Mark and Period: Monochrome and Two-Coloured Wares, S Marchant & Son, London, 1992 and illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 48, no. 34.