in standard script on base in underglaze blue in three vertical lines of two characters each: Da Qing Kangxi nian zhi (made in the Kangxi reign of the great Qing dynasty)
(Yamanaka & Co., sale, American Art Association, New York, 29-31 January 1914, no. 319); sold to Peter A. B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A. B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; gift 1942 to NGA.
The pale green glaze thins along the two ridges at the neck and a third at the top of the shoulder, revealing the white body of the vessel; darker areas where the glaze pooled adjoin these between the ridges and just below the lip on the exterior of the neck in a distinct band of color. Similar variations in hue also appear in the relief dragon design. Slight differences in the modeling of the appliquéd dragons suggest that the dragons were individually sculpted and not molded. The celadon glaze is applied to the interior of the neck as well as the exterior of the vase and is for the most part even, with a few burst bubbles and scattered dark spots. There is a small, ovoid, unglazed hole on the upper ridge on the neck, however, more likely a firing flaw than a chip. A colorless glaze covers the slightly concave base; the six characters of the mark are spaced rather closely near the center of the base.
- Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 20.
- Christensen, Erwin O. Chinese Porcelains of the Widener Collection. Washington, 1947 (rev. ed. 1956): 26, 32, repro.; 1956: 30, 32, fig. 14.
- Koyama et al. 1955-1958, 12, 176, fig. 18.
- Bower, Virginia, Josephine Hadley Knapp, Stephen Little, and Robert Wilson Torchia. Decorative Arts, Part II: Far Eastern Ceramics and Paintings; Persian and Indian Rugs and Carpets. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1998: 103-105, color repro.