Description & Technical information

European Market

A pair of Chinese export porcelain figural candlesticks modelled as standing maidens bearing sconces, on a rock moulded base each with a deer beside them, having a gourd around its neck.

The figure is probably the goddess Magu, an immortal who made elixirs and wines from the lingzhi fungus who is also associated with hemp. She is often depicted ‘Presenting Longevity’ in the form of the lingzhi or peaches or with deer, here bearing her elixir in the gourd hanging round their necks.

This rare pair of figures compares with another mirror image pair that has a seated Chinese maiden with a small dog beside a phoenix on a rock.

References: Cohen & Motley 2008, p100, No 5.2, a pair of ladies with dogs and phoenixes, and an illustration of another single example incorporating a candlesconce; Sargent 1991, p124, pair of ladies and dogs; Bonham’s London 2003, a pair similar to these with standing maidens bearing sconces but with phoenixes beside them.

Date:  1750
Period:  18th century, Qianlong period
Origin:  China
Medium: porcelain
Dimensions: 25.5 cm (10 inches)
Categories: Oriental and Asian Art