A seated figure decorated with famille verte enamels on the biscuit. Kangxi

The figure is decorated with famille verte enamels on the biscuit. The piece represents a male figure of some status, he wears a court headdress and holds a hu, which is a two foot long tablet usually held by official when in court.

Period :
Kangxi (166-1722)
Porcelain (biscuit)
6.69 in. (17 cm)
Reference :

Related works

A comparable figure to the present piece is in the Marie Vergottis Collection and published by John Ayers in La Collection De Porcelaines Chinoises De Marie Vergottis, p. 108, no. 110.

Jorge Welsh had published another comparable figure, from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) but with a screen behind the sculpture in Biscuit: Refined Chinese Famille Verte Wares, 2012, pp. 64/66, no. 2.

For another comparable figure but without a hu tablet, and with a bird and without a screen Octave du Sartel, La Porcelaine chinoise, 1881, pl. VIII, no. 37.

A group of three very similar sculptures, described as immortals, is illustrated by Regina Krahl in Chinese Ceramics: The Anthony de Rothschild Collection, p. 372, no. 207.


The figure could represent the god of literature Wen Chang, who is tipically depicted as an official wearing a high hat and long robes. He was widely worshipped by scholars hoping for success in the imperial examinations, the primary route to official power and prestige in China. However, it is also possible that the present figure is simply a scholar, commonly depicted with a hu tablet and a hat. Representations of Wen Chang and other scholarly figures were particularly popular during the 17th century.

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