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The baluster-shaped vase, which features a variety of differently decorated tiers in a range of techniques and glazes, has gilt-bronze chilong-style handles to the neck and 12 panels of figural and formal scrolling designs to the main body. It was formerly in the collection of Ton-Ying & Company. Interested collectors from round the world viewed the vase at previews in New York and Boston and on the day it was contested by multiple bidders in the room and on the phones.

Skinner's director of Asian works of art Judith Dowling said: "The vase is a tour-de-force of ceramic techniques, and it is believed that the Emperor ordered it made." It was fired at the Jingdezhen kilns under the direction of the superintendent Tang Ying (1682-1750) and the only other known example of the same size and decoration is in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Beijing.