Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 27 April 2003, lot 62.
An identical vase of this rare pattern is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1999, vol. 2, pl. 290 [A379].
The decoration on the present vase was made in imitation of a Western Zhou dynasty bronze, such as a lei attributed to the 9th century B.C., illustrated by John Alexander Pope et. al., The Freer Chinese Bronzes, Vol. 1, Washington D.C., 1967, pl. 83, to which the present vase resembles in the bands of decoration and in outline. This design is also crisply cast on a Western Zhou bronze ding in the Shanghai Museum, published in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Dacidian, Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 1995, p. 90, no. 0316 (illustrated fig. 1).
The present vase is an excellent example of the effect that could be created by using the intaglio form of decoration on a monochrome porcelain vessel. The technique allows the details of the elaborate crisp decoration around the body to be highlighted by the thin translucent glaze pooling in the deeper recesses to provide a contrast in colour tones, thereby creating two shades of green, while accentuating the dense archaistic design on the body. Compare this effect of this technique on another vase with comparable archaistic scrollwork, a tianqiuping sold in these Rooms, 30 October 1995, lot 736A, and again, 27 October 2003, lot 700.