Chinese porcelain famille verte rouleau vase with high shoulder, cylindrical neck and galleried rim, painted on the body in a continuous scene with Xi Wang-mu, The Queen Mother of the West, descending from the Jasper Pool in the clouds with six of her attendants, one holding the giant peach of immortality, others with flute, cymbals, a qin and peacock feather fan, beside her a phoenix bird in flight, approaching the Emperor who wears yellow robes of dragon design, in his palace with generals, dignitaries and attendants amongst rockwork, wutong, banana plant and cranes all beneath a gilt sun, the shoulder with precious object reserves on a geometric ground, the neck with three medallions of Fuxing, seated holding a hu tablet beside a stack of books on a yellow fu-character, Shoulao, in a peach between a crane and scrolls on a green shou-character, and Luxing, seated between a deer and wine jar on an aubergine lu-character beneath the galleried rim with green keyfrets, the base glazed white.

18 ½ inches, 47 cm high.

Kangxi, circa 1715.



Provenance & Additional Information

  • Formerly in the Morpurgo Family Collection.
  • Purchased in London, 1955.
  • Exhibited at The Delft Fair, 1956 (with accompanying photograph).
  • Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 35, pp. 104-105.
  • Xi Wang-mu is The Queen Mother of the West, an ancient deity worshiped as a goddess of longevity, she has a peach orchard whose trees bloom every three thousand years and whose fruit take an equal amount of time to ripen. Harvesting the peaches calls for a large celebration, so on her birthday a peach banquet is held and she invites the immortals to a feast. At the party she is visited by the three star gods Fuxing, Luxing and Shoulao, who are here depicted on the three medallions on the neck. In this scene she is about to bestow immortality on the Emperor.
  • A large rouleau depicting Xi Wang-mu and her attendants descending towards a log raft filled with large peaches and lady attendants, formerly in The Cleveland Museum of Art was sold by Christie’s, New York, in their auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics, Paintings and Works of Art, 21st September 2000, lot no. 322; another, of similar subject was sold by Bonhams, London, in their auction of Fine Chinese Art, 16th May 2013, lot no. 66, where the author suggests “the vase may have been commissioned as a birthday gift, presumably for a high official or the Emperor himself, as suggested by the yellow robes of the male figure…”
  • A famille verte vase in the Qing Court Collection depicting the three star gods, and the Immortals on fu and shou-characters is illustrated in Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, The Complete Collection of Treasures of The Palace Museum, Beijing, Vol. 38, no. 73, p. 80.
  • The remarkable quality of this refined vase, the translucent enamels and the slightly purple tone to the blue enamel anticipate the Yongzheng palette and therefore indicate a later Kangxi production.