A pair of Famille verte biscuit porcelain figures of hares
18th Century China
Height: 25.5 cm Width: 13 cm
Modelled in mirror image, each hare is seated on its haunches with head turned sharply to the side, long erect ears, and alert eyes, grasping a lingzhi spray in its mouth. The black fur markings are contrasted against a pale aubergine body ground, the chest with a pale-yellow wash. Each hare is squatting on a rectangular base, the latter painted to front and back with a fan, painted with branches and flowering buds against a Famille verte diaper back ground, the two sides decorated with peony and Chrysanthemum flowers and leaves also against the diaper ground. Daoist believe that lingzhi is the food of the Immortals, and has been used extensively in Chinese medicine. The motifs or patterns of lingzhi are quite popular in the Chinese decorative arts symbolizing longevity and health.
Formerly in the collection of Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, 9th Duke of Portland (1897-1990); Thence by descent.