This ornate and finely detailed model of a dragon boat is most likely based on those that participated in the annual Dragon Boat Festivals held on the 5th day of the 5th moon, during which the long boats race up and down the river in pairs to the sound of horns and other loud instruments.
Chen Guozhi can be identified as the well-known ceramic carver, particularly those of biscuit porcelain wares, who was active during the late Daoguang period. An example of a biscuit brushpot illustrated by S. Kwan, Imperial Porcelain of Late Qing, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1983, p.18, fig.4 ; and a turquoise enamelled brushpot bearing the unusual mark of Daqing Daoguang Chen Guozhi zao, 'Made in the Daoguang period of the Great Qing dynasty by Chen Guozhi', in the Baur Collection is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva 2000, p.236, no.340 (A658).
See an almost identical biscuit dragon boat also from the artist, sold at Sotheby's New York, 28/29 November 1994, lot 385.
Another one less refine was also sold in our Hong Kong Rooms, 29 May 2007, lot 1547.
Dragon boats were also produced in other materials, cf. the pair of cloisonné and champlevé enamel dragon boats sold in our New York Rooms, 30 March 2005, lot 152 ; or the ivory, horn, wood and glass model sold also in our New York Rooms, 21 March 2002, lot 9.