Chinese porcelain famille verte baluster vase of guanyin zun form with cylindrical ribbed neck and gently flared rim, painted on the body with a continuous scene of twelve ladies at various pursuits, about to read a book, carrying an elaborate wrapped qin and playing a game of weiqi in a terrace scene in front of a large wave-screen, one lady holding a gilt fan, another a gilt ruyi-sceptre, and another holding an iron-red and gilt censer, one lady looking out of a window beside a young male attendant, all amongst wutong, trees, flowering plants, shrubs and rockwork with iron-red ruyi-head clouds, the shoulder with hexagonal flowerhead diaper, the neck with butterflies and insects in flight amongst flowering chrysanthemum and peony, the base glazed white.

18 ¼ inches, 46.3 cm high.

Kangxi, circa 1700.

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).
  • 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 Morning 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.
  • The pair to this vase was included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 15, pp. 40/3.


Excellent condition