17th / 18th c century
Early Qing dynasty
Porcelain with white glaze; Dehua ware
Height: 32.5 cm
Width: 12 cm (approximate)
From a Northern California private collection
A rare 17th / 18th century Dehua blanc de chine figural group of Wenchang and Kuixing, powerfully modeled with the God of Literature dressed in Ming literati robes, expression serene, while his demon-like attendant looks on with a ferocious adulation. The figures are supported by a rocky plinth.
This figural group was likely made for the Late Ming scholar’s studio, as Wenchang is the patron deity of literature, the literati, and civil examination candidates. He is seen here with his scribe and acolyte, the God of Examination Kuixing.
Pre-19th century Chinese-taste Dehua blanc de chine are highly sought after by museums and collectors for their naturalistic modeling and relaxed, flowing contours. A similar figural group (dated 17th century) sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in 2010 (see sale 18592 lot 248).
Condition report: very good antique condition, with minor chips to extremities (see finger tips, Kuixing’s horn, the tip of Wenchang’s headwear tassel), some surface wear, and several original firing stress cracks). [Please examine all photos carefully, as they are part of the condition report.]