A FINE AND RARE PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT POLYCHROME-PAINTED CLAY "NODDINGHEAD" FIGURES, a finely and realistically modelled elderly couple with painted detachable clay heads weighted with lead to nod, arms in a raised position, wearing elaborately decorated traditional Chinese robes in Ming-style, the lady holding a handkerchief in her fixed left hand and wearing earrings, her hair drawn up in a tall loop, the gentleman with headdress, natural hair sideburns, moustache and beard, both carrying a stick, Qianlong period, c. 1780, height c. 70 cm.
PROVENANCE: Purchased by the Swedish cabinet and finance minister count Johan Liljencrantz (1730-1815). He was involved in the Swedish East India Company from 1766 until 1806 both as a financial adviser and stock holder. Sturehof castle, constructed c. 1780, was the summer residence of the count and his first wife Ottiliana Transchiöld. In an inventory list from 1788, when the countess recently had died, we find the "nodding dolls" in the yellow cabinet. Johan Liljencrantz moved to
Norsborg manor with his second wife Eleonora Stjernstedt, where he died in 1815. This time the figures are described as "2 Chinese mandarins" in the documents and they are placed in the blue cabinet.
Estimate: 200-250.000 SEK
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