This figure belongs to a group of finely modelled seated court ladies, but is unique in that the figure carries a baby and is seated in a very casual pose with one foot resting on her knee. The definition of the draperies and the blue splashes are also exceptionally rare in this group.
Compare with a number of published seated court ladies, varying factors include dress, textile patterns, hairstyle, type of seat (wicker stool or rock) and type of accessory held, which range from mirrors to ruyi sceptres. Two examples with birds perched on an outstreched hand include one from the Anthony Hardy Collection, sold in our New York Rooms, 21 September 1995, lot 77; and one included in the Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Chinese Ceramics, Tokyo, 1988, p. 47, no. 180. Other examples holding flowers include the figure from the collection of Captain S.N. Ferris Luboshez, included in the exhibition, Chinese Art from the Ferris Luboshez Collection, Maryland Art Gallery, 1972, Catalogue, no. 85, pl. 32, later sold in New York, 18 November 1982, lot 57 and again 1 June 1988, lot 88; another two are illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. 1, nos. 191 and 193; a last from the collection of Edgar and Hedwig Worch sold in our New York Rooms, 1 December 1994, lot 366. A fuller bodied seated lady and the example most closely related to the present lot, wearing similar flowing robes also splashed with blue glaze, with hair similarly fashioned, but with hands resting on one knee from collection of Mr. and Mrs. Dickson Reck, sold in our New York Rooms, 2 June 1989, lot 151.
The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 766U83 is consistent with the dating of this lot.