D1003. Blue and White Figure of a Chinese Lady
Delft, circa 1705
Marked LVE 4 in blue for Lambertus van Eenhoorn, the owner of De Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory from 1691 until 1721, or his widow Margaretha Teckmann from 1721 to 1724
Wearing a tall hat and a flower-patterned robe, holding a fly whisk in her right hand and standing on a demiluneshaped rocky base.
Height: 15.2 cm. (6 in.)
Dutch Private Collection, Eindhoven
In the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century, the fascination for the Far East was triggered nationwide by the many curiosities that were brought home. Artists and craftsmen created wonderful and intriguing pieces of art that imitated the Chinese, Japanese and Indian treasures, or that combined Eastern and Western shapes and patterns into so-called chinoiseries.
The Delft figure is clearly inspired by Chinese figures, and he is most likely made by the Delft potters after an example in enameled biscuit of the Kangxi period (1662-1722) or a similar figure in soapstone or wood.
Chinese small statues were already brought to the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. At first, they were transported only sporadically in the cargo of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) employees as souvenirs or on request of collectors of curiosities, meaning that they were not available for the common people. But in the second half of the same century the VOC, aware of the popularity of everything exotic, shipped large numbers of little Japanese and Chinese porcelain figures to the fatherland. In the eighteenth century, the previously exclusive figures became available to a wider audience which led to the fact that the figures were included in the domestic interior.