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A PAIR OF PAINTED-PLASTER NODDING-HEAD FIGURES
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A PAIR OF PAINTED-PLASTER NODDING-HEAD FIGURES

CIRCA 1800 CHINESE EXPORT, PROBABLY EUROPEAN

Details
A PAIR OF PAINTED-PLASTER NODDING-HEAD FIGURES
CIRCA 1800 CHINESE EXPORT, PROBABLY EUROPEAN
Of a mandarin and his wife, each with outstretched hands and in floral and gilt-heightened robes, mounted on later parcel-gilt and simulated marble wood bases
15¾ in. (40 cm.) high overall (2)
Provenance
,Purchased from Patridge, New York 1985.
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Chinese nodding-head figures are documented in England and Continental Europe as early as the 1760's and 1770's and Zoffany's famous portrait depicting Queen Charlotte in her Dressing Room at Buckingham Palace painted in 1764 shows two such figures in the background (see C. Saumarez Smith, Eighteenth Century Decoration, New York, 1993, p. 255, fig. 246).
Nodding-head figures were imported into England, Europe and America from Canton in large numbers from the 1780's. The great interest in these figures in England is derived in large part from the personal tastes of the Prince of Wales (later George IV) during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. The Prince's interest in Chinese decoration was first expressed in his Chinese Drawing Room at Carlton House; however his sudden inspiration to achieve an Oriental interior at Brighton Pavilion was prompted in 1802. The final achievement, an ornate palace of fantastical proportions and exotic furnishings, was due to the combined efforts of the Prince himself and his principal designers, John and Frederick Crace, over the next twenty-five years. A number of Chinese figures of this type were prominently displayed in the corridor of the Pavilion (see J. Morley, The Making of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, Boston, 1984, pp. 169-176).

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