This vase is a supreme example of the technical ingenuity and skill of the craftsmen at Jingdezhen during the reign of Qianlong. During the early years of the Emperor's reign, revolving vases of varying form, size and decoration were created at the Imperial porcelain factory; many of the craftsmen devoted their skills to enhancing the vases still further by adding intricate openwork outer walls and exquisitely enamelled inner walls, combined with a revolving upper section, such as can be found on the vase in the present lot.
Revolving vases with double walls as large as this vase are extremely rare, and the design of a continuous rocky landscape on the pierced outer wall appears to be unrecorded; more common designs include dragons, floral and geometric motifs. A revolving vase of similar shape and height, but with clouds and bats on the outer wall and pavilions on the inner wall is in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, ilustrated Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, 1989, colour pl.113, pl.431; several other smaller examples of revolving vessels are also illustrated, ibid., colour pls. 112, 114 - 122, and 123 for an example without double walls. Another revolving vase of similar height with cover and reticulated roundels on the body is in the Nanjing Museum, included in the Catalogue (but not exhibited), Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Reigns, Nanjing Museum and the Art Gallery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, no.98. Another, smaller but of similar form, is in the Tokyo National Museum, included in the Special Exhibition, Jixiang: Auspicious Motifs in Chinese Art, 1998, Catalogue, no.247