Chinese porcelain famille verte baluster vase of guanyin zun form with cylindrical ribbed neck and flared rim, painted on the body with a continuous scene of twelve ladies at various pursuits including starting a game of weiqi, in a terrace scene in front of a large wave screen, one lady holding a gilt fan, another with gilt ruyi-sceptre and another holding an elaborate wrapped qin, three further ladies standing in a fenced garden, one holding a large wrapped group of scrolls another with a single scroll the third with a gilt sceptre, while three ladies look on from a window beside a table with books and censers, all amongst rockwork, wutong and an iron-red ruyi-head cloud bank, the shoulder with a flower head diaper band, the neck with butterflies amongst flowering chrysanthemum and peony, the base glazed white.

18 3/8 inches, 46.8 cm high

Kangxi, circa 1700.


Some enamel flakes retouched, flaking to enamel.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Purchased from Nicolier, Quai Voltaire, Paris, 1955.
  • Formerly in the Morpurgo Family Collection.
  • Exhibited at The Delft Fair, 1956 (with accompanying photograph).
  • Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 15, pp. 40-43.
  • A similar vase from the collection of Monsieur et Madame Sylvain L. Goldmuntz of Brasschaat, Belgium was sold by Sotheby’s, London, in their auction of Fine Late Chinese Porcelain and Works of Art, 9th May 1972, lot no. 140, pp. 46-47.
  • The subject of twelve ladies of the court amongst scholarly objects is a classic narrative depicted in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The famous painting by Qiu Ying of court ladies at scholarly pursuits in The National Palace Museum, Taiwan, titled Spring Mountain in the Han Palace, and painted in 1552, is probably the inspiration for this subject.
  • A vase of this form is illustrated in Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, The Complete Collection of Treasures of The Palace Museum, Beijing, Vol. 38, no. 74, p. 81.