Court lady candleholders were among the most fashionable production of the high-end export trade in the later 18th century, typically made about ten or twelve inches high, a little more than half this size. Likely they were inspired by the 17th century Japanese Bijin figures made in Kakiemon porcelain, also modeled standing in their colorful robes holding vases, that would have been seen by early China traders. For the Japanese prototype see an example from the Jenyns collection illustrated in Porcelain for Palaces: The Fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750, pl. 165. For a sixteen inch pair of Chinese ladies similar to the present lot see Christie's, New York, 26 January 2006, lot 40.