An unusual and very fine Chinese famille verte biscuit figure of Cao Guo-jiu. Kangxi

The immortal standing on a rectangular sancai base, decorated in famille verte enamels, the face beard and left hand covered. He is holding a hu tablet.

Period :
Kangxi (1662-1722)
Porcelain (biscuit)
6.69 in. (17 cm)
Reference :

Related works

For a related figure of this immortal (but more commonly depicted), in the collections of the Rijkmuseum (Amsterdam ; inv. No. AK-RBK 15872), see Christiaan J.A. Jörg in Famille Verte Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels (p. 122, cat. 110).


The eight immortals appeared as a discrete group in the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and became increasingly popular from the Ming dynasty to the Qing. Sets of the « Eight Daoist Immortals » were popular for the Chinese market as well as for export to the west, where such small figures adorned the interior as exotic representatives of faraway « Cathay ». His official cap identifies probably this figure as the Immortal Cao Guo-jiu, a Song-dynasty military commander who usually holds a court tablet or castanets and is the patron of actors and performers. The scroll could also suggest that this figure could be a scholar, part of a much larger group, all with a different attributes, perhaps symbols of scholarship or the calendar months.

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