Chinese porcelain blue and white baluster vase with single-ribbed neck and galleried rim, painted on the body with three qilins standing on rocks amongst billowing and crested waves and sea spray, with stylised flames being emitted from their mouths, the ribbed neck with bands of lappets, scrolls and ruyi-heads, all between crenulated bands above the foot and on the rim, the base glazed white.

17 ¼ inches, 43.8 cm high.

Kangxi, circa 1700.


Excellent, except many pin holes beneath shoulder and fire flaw on base.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • From the collection of Karl Wilhelm Gerdhem (1868-1932).

Karl Wilhelm Gerdhem was a famous Swedish engineer and one of the pioneers of world-wide telephone network expansion and communication. His position from 1892 with a Swedish telephone company, S A T, merged with L. M. Ericsson in 1918, took him all over the world. In 1905, he was sent to Peking to negotiate a contract for the major city of Guangzhou (Canton). It was at this time that he acquired a collection of Chinese porcelain which he brought back to Sweden.

  • Given to a family member as a wedding present in 1957.
  • A similar vase of this form and design is illustrated by W.G. Gulland in Chinese Porcelain, Vol. II., no. 556, pp. 320/1.
  • A similarly decorated yanyan, also known as a phoenix tail vase, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated by Chen Runmin in Qing Dynasty, Shunzhi and Kangxi Underglaze Blue in the Gugong Museum, no. 306, p. 475; another was sold by Spink in their exhibition of Chinese Blue & White Porcelain from the Pullan Collection, 1998, no. 50, p. 39.
  • A small baluster vase of this pattern, formerly in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Art, is illustrated by The Poly Art Museum in their exhibition of Shimmering Romance, A Special Exhibition of Kangxi Porcelain and Works of Art, 2011, no. V-4, pp. 160/1.