M3051

Famille rose figural group of a seated Chinese man drinking beside a lady with his arm on her shoulder, both on a naturalist pierced rockwork plinth, the man’s blue-enamelled unbuttoned tunic incised with ruyi-clouds, also wearing iron-red breeches and black enamelled boots, the lady with her right hand raised to her mouth, wearing a yellow jacket with landscape panels and a blue dress with a leg and bound foot revealed, her hair tied and pinned in a high chignon.

7 3/8 inches, 18.8 cm high, 5 7/8 inches, 15 cm wide.

Qianlong, circa 1770.

 

  • From a French private collection.
  • A similar group is illustrated by David S. Howard in The Choice of the Private Trader, the Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain Illustrated from the Hodroff Collection, no. 306, p. 257, where the author notes ‘The implications of this model are obvious, and her doubts about accepting his offer of wine leading to something else are well expressed’; the same piece is again illustrated by Michael Cohen & William Motley in Mandarin and Menagerie, Chinese and Japanese Export Ceramic Figures, Volume I: The James E. Sowell Collection, no. 6.3, p. 117.
  • A related group with a lady giving the man a pedicure is illustrated by William R. Sargent in The Copeland Collection, Chinese and Japanese Ceramic Figures, The Peabody Museum of Salem, no. 59, pp. 130/1, where the author notes ‘these routines are evidently preliminary to sexual advances. In each of the figural groups which convey veiled eroticism, a young woman, a traditional beauty, meiren, is shown with her leg exposed; or with the man in a suggestive pose. As nakedness was taboo, even the slightest display of a leg would be considered more than daring. The bound foot was also considered erotic.’
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