Previously sold in London, 12 December 1989, lot 330.
No other Yongzheng vase of this pattern appears to have been published, although there are several other vases of this shape painted only with a single fruiting spray on each side. One such example was in the T. Y. Chao Collection, sold in Hong Kong, Part II, 19 May 1987, lot 276; and another with a lychee branch was exhibited in Christie's London, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 1993, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 82. Compare also moonflasks decorated with birds perched on flowering branches, such as the example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, 1989, p. 173, pl. 2; one with an effaced Yongzheng mark from the Robert Chang Collection, sold in these Rooms, 2 November 1999, lot 521; and another from the Wu Lai-hsi Collection illustrated by W. B. Honey, The Ceramic Art of China and Other Countries of the Far East, pl. 87b, where it is catalogued as 15th century, when in fact it is more closely related to 18th-century examples, and may also have had a Yongzheng mark at one time.
Although detached flowering and fruiting sprays do not appear on other moonflasks, the design may be found on vases of different shapes with Yongzheng reign marks. Compare a slender baluster vase with similar decoration in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated loc. cit., p. 175, pl. 4; a small globular vase formerly from the Riesco Collection, illustrated by H. Garner, Oriental Blue and White, pl. 75; and a meiping, illustrated by Geng Baochang, Ming Qing Ciqi Jianding, Mingdai Bufen, p. 19, pl. 16, together with its Yongle prototype, pl. 15.
While the form and style of decoration on the present flask are inspired by early 15th-century originals, no Ming flask of this pattern appears to have been published. For Yongle moonflasks painted with a single large branch with flowers or fruit, see the example in the British Museum, from the Oppenheim Collection, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 5, no. 161; one illustrated by H. Garner, ibid., pl. 30a, previously from the Clark Collection; and another in the Matsuoka Museum of Art, illustrated in Selected Masterpieces of Ceramics, pl. 50.
In the early Ming dynasty, the decoration of six floral fruiting sprays is most often found on meiping vases. Two such vases out of the six in the collection of the Topkapi Saray are illustrated by J. Ayers and R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, vol. II, col. pl. 430; another two are in the National Palace Museum, Taibei, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Dynasty Porcelain, Yongle Ware, pl. 12, and a Xuande version with a cover, pl. 39; two more from the Ardebil Shrine are illustrated by T. Misugi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East, vol. III, nos. A69 and A265; and one in the Percival David Foundation Catalogue, section 3, no. A610.