Zun-form cloisonné enamel vase attributed to the Xuande period, £43,000at Hannam’s.

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All are approximately the same size, follow the zun-form inspired by ancient Shang and Western Zhou bronzes, and are decorated with similar peony blossom and lotus-scroll decoration. More specifically they share heavy bronze bodies, feature strong colours and are set within fine, accurately bent wires.

The best known of these vessels is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, where it is dated to the Xuande period and attributed the Yuyongjian workshop, a division of the department responsible for providing furnishings to the Imperial household. Other examples were sold at Christie’s in London in May 2010 for £210,000 and at Christie’s New York in September 2021 for $300,000.

This example, a zun-form vase, described as ‘probably imperial and Xuande period', came for sale at Hannam’s (23% buyer’s premium) in Selborne, Hampshire, on February 27 without a published provenance and a modest estimate of £800-1200.

However, showing some confidence in its pedigree, it was competed for by several potential buyers to £43,000.