Late 19th - early 20th century
Late Qing Dynasty to Republic period
Porcelain with overglaze wucai enamels
H: 23.2 cm / 9.13 in
Chip to the lotus flower bud of one figure, otherwise very good.
From a southern California estate
A charming set of Hehe Erxian figures, in a mirrored true-matching pair. Figures like these originally appeared during the mid-Kangxi period, likely as export pieces to Europe, though statues of Hehe Erxian have been crafted in China since the Yuan dynasty. Mistranslated in the west as "lucky twins" and today recognized as jovial boys, the Hehe Erxian are in fact immortals and the patrons deities of Chinese potters. Their manifestation in two persons symbolize harmony and concord, or, "two in body but one in spirit."
There is a mirrored pair of wucai Hehe Erxian figures in the Peabody Essex Museum, which are also dated late 19th century - early 20th century. William R. Sargent discusses their form and dating in page 477 of his "Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics"