Pair of Chinese porcelain famille verte, wucai dishes with flat everted rims, each painted with the Yang family women practising their equestrian skills, with iron-red, yellow and aubergine dappled horses beneath an archway and an arbour, while another lady and her attendants look on from a covered balcony beneath iron-red clouds and a gilt sun, all within an elaborate floral border including hydrangea, lotus, peony, camellia, daisy and prunus, with underglaze blue lines, the undersides with branches of peony in underglaze blue, iron-red and gilt.
13 1/2 inches, 34.3 cm diameter.
Overall excellent condition, one with a tiny chip to rim and tiny nicks to foot rim.
Provenance & Additional Information
• From the Zamek Lancucki Collection, Łańcut Castle, Poland, (with labels).
• A slightly larger dish from this service, gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige is illustrated in the catalogue of Tokyo National Museum, Chinese Ceramics II, no. 604, p. 154, and by John Ayers and Masahiko Sato in Sekai Toji Zenshu, Ceramic Art of the World, Ch’ing Dynasty, Vol. 15, no. 169, p. 170, it was also included by the Osaka City Museum in their exhibition of The Beauty of Qing Dynasty Works of Art, 1992, no. 101, p. 38.
• A pair of similar larger dishes from the collection of Mr. H. J. Joel, Esq. of Childwick Bury, St Albans, Hertfordshire was sold by Christie’s, London, in their auction of Fine Chinese Export Porcelain and Works of Art, 12th June 1978, lot no. 221, pp. 56/7.
• Another larger dish from this service was included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 36, pp. 106/7.
• A pair of famille rose square dishes of this subject were included by Marchant in their exhibition of Imperial Chinese Porcelain, Ceramics and Works of Art, 2013, no. 30, pp. 64/5.
• The tradition of the Yang family generals and their military exploits, over several generations, dates from the Northern Song dynasty when they were famous for their remarkable bravery in defending the Song borders from foreign invaders. While several generals of the Yang family are profiled in historical texts such as History of Song, the Ming dynasty novel Generals of the Yang Family includes folklore and stories that deviate from actual historical records. The Yang family lady generals practising before going to war (because their husbands were wounded) has become a favourite subject and is a symbol of unflinching loyalty.