A Chinese blue and white “Romance of the Western Chamber” teapot. Yongzheng

Decorated in underglaze blue, the scene from Act III of The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiang Ji) by the Yuan Dynasty playwright Wang Shifu (c.1260-1336), where the scholar Zhang climbs over the garden wall to see Cui Yingying. The other woman is her maid, Hongniang.

Period :
Late Kangxi / Yongzheng period, ca. 1720/25
4.72 in. (12 cm hight)
Reference :


The Collection of a French lady

Related works

The “Lange lijzen” (tall ladies / long Alizas) with their particular long hairstyle are considered a Yongzheng innovation.

For a blue and white “ladies” round bowl (mark and period), with this type of hairstyle, see Bonhams London, Asian Art, 2 november 2020, lot 271.

Hight quality Klapmuts bowls this long hairstyle ladie are also known.


Xi Xiang Ji is a well-known tale, with origins in the 8th/9th Century, written in the Yuan Dynasty (13th/14th Century) as a play. It has remained popular ever since, and has been reprinted many times. It is the woodblock prints used to illustrate the text which have, throughout the ages, inspired the decoration of scenes from the tale on porcelain The story tells of the romance between Zhang Sheng, a talented but poor scholar, and Cui Yingying, a beautiful maiden, whose mother will not allow the couple to marry, and sends Zhang away to the capital to seek scholarly success. While on his way to take the civil service examination, Zhang is instrumental in rescuing Yingying from a group of bandits. Her hand in marriage had been offered by her mother to whoever could save her, but she subsequently reneges on her promise. In the end he is successful and claims Yingying as his bride.

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