A Large Blue And White Vase, meiping. Wanli Six-Character Mark In A Circle Around The Neck And Of The Period (1573-1619).  Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2012

The vase is potted with high broad shoulders elegantly tapering down towards the narrow base. It is decorated with a continuous scene with four scholars in long robes, all accompanied by attendants carrying various objects and within a terraced garden landscape with pine trees and below wind-swept clouds. The shoulder is decorated with a wide ruyi-head band enclosing stylised lotus blooms and the foot has a narrow band of small flower heads above a tall stylised lotus lappet band. 20½ in. (52 cm.) high - Estimate £60,000 - £80,000

明萬曆 青花庭園高士圖梅瓶 雙圈六字楷書款

Notes: The four scholars depicted on this vase may be identified as the scholars Wang Xizhi, Tao Yuanming, Meng Haoran, and Zhou Dunyi.

meiping vase of this type, with the same subject matter is in the Palace Museum, illustrated in The Complete collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red, Shanghai, 2000, vol. 2, pl. 164. Other examples include one from the Songde Tang collection, The Fame of Flame, Imperial Wares of the Jiajing and Wanli Periods, Hong Kong, 2009-2010, no. 50; Misugi Takatoshi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East: Topkapi and Arbedil, Hong Kong, 1981, vol. III, no. A.127-129; Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 2, no. 725.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 6 November 2012, London, King Street