The present vessel belongs to a group of Qianlong-marked miniature component vases, most of which are in the form of a double-vase, reflecting the emperor's interest in archaism. For examples of conjoined double-vases, see one also comprising a squat jar and a tall vase decorated with bats and clouds, attributed to the imperial workshops or made for the palace, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong Oriental Ceramics Society, 1986, p. 244, no. 236. Another from the W.W. Winkworth Collection, illustrated by S. Jenyns and W. Watson, Chinese Art: The Minor Arts, London, 1963, pl. 50, was sold at Christie's London, 16 November 1999, lot 106. A third one was sold at Christie's New York, 15 September 2009, lot 257.
Miniature vessels, such as the present lot, were particularly appreciated by the literati class. They were displayed in collector's cabinets in the scholar's studio, as depicted in numerous genre paintings from the Ming and Qing periods. With the evolving trend towards displaying aesthetic rather than functional objects in the cabinets, miniaturization reached its apogee under the Qianlong period.