A Chinese famille verte biscuit figure of a woman and a squirrel. Kangxi

The figure has been molded and decorated in the famille verte enamels, with a yellow coat over a green undergarment, and holds a bag in her left hand. Covering her right hand is a cloth, left in the biscuit with remnants of cold-painted red pigment, upon which is perched an aubergine-glazed tree squirrel. The hair is glazed brown and the face is covered with a clear glaze. She stands on a green base.

Period :
Kangxi (166-1722)
Porcelain (biscuit)
3.93 in. (10.8 cm)
Reference :

Related works

Two identical figures are in the collection of Auguste The Strong (N 100, inventory of 1721), inventory number PO 4479. Two others identical figures, listed in the same Palace inventory entry, but with the dress enameled in brown and green are in the Dresden collection (inventory number PO 4481 and PO 4482).

Two identical figures are in the Copeland Collection, published by William R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, Salem: Peabody Museum of Salem, 1991, pp. 68-69, no. 23.


The depiction of a Chinese lady in such a manner, especially with her handbag, is unusual; suggesting that these forms may have been produced solely for the export market. A parallel can be done with a pair of lead-glazed Dutch beakers dated 1605, each in the form of a lady holding a handbag. The tree squirrel (song shu) may be a rebus for the pine tree (song shu) and therefore a wish for long life.

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