A small number of figure groups of this type, depicting men engaged with younger women at everyday activities such as music lessons, ear-cleaning or a pedicure, are known. To the Chinese they clearly alluded to sexual escapades to come. In the present group, the girl's left leg has been exposed, an accidental gesture that would have been considered an erotic display. For a further discussion and illustration of a related figure group see W.R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, The Peabody Museum of Salem, 1991, p. 130 (and on the cover). For other examples see Christie's, London, 7 November 1994, lot 96A and 15 May 1995, lot 119. A very rare series of four were in the Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Collection, sold Christie's, London, 10 April 2002, lots 500, 501, 502 and 503, including a "teeth-cleaning" group showing virtually the same couple and the same rockwork as the present lot.