A famille verte porcelain Buddhist lion
Kangxi period, 1662 – 1722 AD, China
清康熙 1662-1772 中國
Height: 54cm 21.26 inches, width: 25 cm 9.8 inches
高 54 釐米
The animal is seated on his haunches upon an oval base – the head held up with open mouth and bulging eyes. This particular model is uncharacteristic as Chinese where the lions would normally be modelled on high bases and depicted as male and female the one with a cub the other with a ball, here the model is derived from Japanese Kakiemon porcelain, this influence can be seen from the example in the Burley House Collection mentioned in the 1688 inventory. The palette is similarly influenced particularly in the liberal use of the overglaze blue enamel here combined with brown, green and black, heightened in areas with iron red and cold gold gilding.
The Chinese acted as trade agents for the Japanese and with the popularity of Japanese porcelain models in Europe particularly in the years before and soon after 1683 when the Jingdezhen kilns were reconstructed, the Chinese adapted to their designs. This lion does, however, retain the spiral curls of hair, the bulging eyes and the wang (king) character on the forehead associated with the Chinese models.