The vase without handles that sold for HK $ 252M including premium at Sotheby's on October 7, 2010 over a lower estimate of HK $ 30M was an exceptional piece with its pale yellow background, its height of 40 cm, its long cylindrical neck above the upper bulb and its sgraffiato incisions.
Among the vases with handles let us consider a blue and white 23 cm high with a pattern of lotus leaves, sold for HK $ 24M including premium by Christie's on December 1, 2010.
Pairs are extremely rare. One of them recently discovered in an English country house will be sold by Christie's in London on May 9, lot 99. Each vase has the same shape and size as the blue and white example described above.
In the same style of decoration, the details of both vases in that pair are different. They are painted with flowers and butterflies in yangcai enamels in an accumulation of auspices and symbols of seasons that was probably prepared for the birthday of some prestigious people. For the rebus so enjoyed at the imperial court the butterfly means 'repetition' by homophony, doubling the message of the auspice and the prediction of longevity.
The ground porcelain of this pair is pure white according to a usual practice during the Yongzheng period. Considering that a pink ground has been appreciated under Qianlong for pieces of the same theme, it is possible that this pair bearing his imperial mark was made early in his reign.
SOLD for £ 14.7M including premium
Please watch the video shared by Christie's.