This vase appears to be unique, and the lively, naturalistic painting is especially fine and painstakingly rendered on such a small piece.
The closest comparison to the present lot is a larger vase (21.3 cm. high) in the National Palace Museum, included in the exhibition Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, 1999, Catalogue, no. 98, where the shape, the elaborate dragon appliqués and the incised feathery scrolls on the stepped mouthrim are identical to those on the present vase. The shape of the vase with the ovoid body, slender neck and flanged mouth rim is also most unusual, and recall Sui dynasty ceramic vases or amphorae. The same shape and proportions are also found on a slightly larger cloisonné enamel vase from the early 15th century, in the Pierre Uldry Collection, decorated with a continuous lotus scroll, illustrated by H. Brinker and A. Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, pl. 9.
The decorative motifs on the four panels may be found on other enamel wares, although it is quite rare to find them in this combination on one piece. The most common motif is that of the bats and nine peaches because of their auspicious symbolism, where the bats mean Blessings and the peaches are symbolic of immortality.
Magpies, bamboo and roses are another combination found on a few other imperial enamelled and Guyuexuan pieces. Where poems appear alongside the fine painting, they often refer to Eternal Spring which is associated with the fragrance of bamboo. Comparable Yongzheng-period examples on porcelain with similar decoration include a teapot from the National Palace Museum, Taibei, included in the Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Enamelled Porcelains of the Imperial Ateliers, 1992, Catalogue, no. 31; a zhadou also in the National Palace Museum, illustrated in Imperial Enamel Ware of the Qing Dynasty, no. 135; and a yellow-ground dish sold in these Rooms, 5 November 1997, lot 909.