A blanc-de-chine group
Late 17th–early 18th centuries
Length: 6 1/8 in, 15.5 cm
of a Dutch family, supported on a low, oval base. The man and his wife sit on a bench, flanked by their son and daughter, and all four figures hold glasses. The couple sit either side of a low table on which stand a cross and a bowl of food; a potted plant sits on the ground between a monkey and a dog. The man and his son wear tricorn hats, coats, neckerchiefs and boots. The woman wears a high headdress and a sheer gown, tied at the waist; she holds a fan in her left hand. The girl wears a sheer jacket over a pleated skirt. The paste is covered with a transparent white glaze.
Purchased by Lady Loch from Spink & Son, London, on 24 June 1932.
This model is noted in the Dresden inventory of 1721 as N17, where the figures are described as Indian. It is sometimes referred to as the “Governor Duff” group, referring to Duivver, a Governor of the Dutch East India Company.
For similar examples, where the figures of the dog and the monkey have been reversed, see Ayers, Blanc de Chine: Divine Images in Porcelain, no. 58, p. 107; Bondy, Kang-hsi, pl. 194, the Dresden example; Donnelly, Blanc de Chine, pl. 117A; Howard and Ayers, China for the West: Chinese Porcelain and other Decorative Arts for Export illustrated from the Mottahedeh Collection, no. 55, p. 94; and Kerr and Ayers, Blanc de Chine: Porcelain from Dehua, A Catalogue of the Hickley Collection, no. 38.
Note also an example with added European enamels illustrated in Morena, Dalle Indie orientali alla corte di Toscana: Collezioni di arte cinese e giapponese a Palazzo Pitti, no. 153, p. 228.