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Subject:Chinese porcelain "servant boy", is this Qianlong period, jiaqing or later?
Posted By: Stefanie Riedel Tue, Mar 17, 2020 IP: 2003:cf:ff20:ab00:a4

I have bought this figure presenting a "servant boy".
The height is approx. 15 centimetres.
It has the rouge-de-fer enamel decoration, as it was used for e.g. export porcelain from the qianlong period, on the legs of the boy.
The head is like celadon, but more a very light turquoise glaze, and also the other parts without enamels.
There is a small bow lying in the bowl.

I will try to replace and do a better reconstruction of the plate/bowl, as you can see it is broken, and really is not looking very good.

Can someone tell me what he/she thinks or knows what period it is?

Thank you very much for helping me!

Subject:Re: Chinese porcelain "servant boy", is this Qianlong period, jiaqing or later?
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Mar 18, 2020

Your "servant boy" appears to be modeled a bit more in the round than the 18th-early 19th century ceramic figures that I believe the modeler was attempting to emulate, which usually have abnormally flattened anatomy below the neck. The damage seen on him represents firing issues more than age, I believe, possibly temperatures too high for the glaze, causing it to thin out at angular edges and "frit" or pop off. Celadon glazes, if that's what is seen here, are iron based and require very high temperatures to vitrify properly. Also, I would caution against assuming the red is "rouge-de-fer", since modern enamels do a fairly good job of emulating it.

Check the embedded link out for a comparable live auction result involving two kneeling children and an infant figurine, the two children being modeled in the same posture as yours and virtually the same size but differently painted. Despite the description, these figurines are all Chinese and made in the late 20th century or subsequently, in my estimation.

I've also added a photo, with 18th-early 19th century figurines of a boy and the Goddess Guanyin, both modeled as joss stick holders, flanking a restored 18th century image of the Budai Heshang (Cloth Sack Monk or Laughing Buddha). Behind them are larger probable Republic (1912-49) or somewhat later images of two Immortals on either side of a famille rose medallion vase. The boys are about the same size as yours.

Best regards,

Bill H.

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