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    Sale 2130

    Chinese Export Porcelain

    21 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 15

    A RARE BLUE AND WHITE CAT NIGHTLIGHT

    KANGXI PERIOD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE BLUE AND WHITE CAT NIGHTLIGHT
    KANGXI PERIOD
    His ears pricked and his mouth open revealing teeth, fangs and tongue, his round body and the long tail curled round his haunches with stripy fur markings and washy blue patches, a heart-shaped aperture in his back
    6 in. (15.2 cm.) wide


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    Cat nightlights seem to have been made since the late Ming period, but there are few survivors from the 18th century or earlier. A blue and white example from the first salvaged Hatcher cargo, dating to the Transitional Period, was sold Christie's, Amsterdam, 14 March 1984, lot 279 (and cover of the catalogue.) A famille verte example very similar to the present lot was sold Bonham's, London, 6 March 2007, lot 55.

    The Jesuit priest Père D'Entrecolles wrote from Jingdezhen in 1712 that "I have seen a cat painted after life, in the head of which a little lamp was put to illuminate the eyes, and was assured that in the night the rats were terrified by it."