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‘Soldier’ Vase. Porcelain decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Height 92.7 cm. China, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722), circa 1700. Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain & Works of Art (stand 210) – TEFAF 2015 Antiques (13-22 March 2015)

Vases of this shape and size are generally referred to as ‘soldier’ or ‘dragoon’ vases. These names derive from a historic exchange between Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and Lithuania (1670-1733), and the ‘Soldier King’ Friedrich Wilhelm I, King of Prussia (1688-1740) in 1717. Vases of a similar size, shape and decoration were in fact in the Augustus the Strong Collection, seven of which are now in the Zwinger Museum in Dresden.


Four ‘Nodding-Head’ figures. Porcelain decorated in overglaze polychrome enamels, 44.5 x 15 cm. China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795). Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain & Works of Art (stand 210) – TEFAF 2015 Antiques (13-22 March 2015)

Although figures of various dimensions and shapes were frequently made for the export market, it is very rare to find porcelain figures with ‘nodding-heads’. This device is more commonly found on unfired clay models of Chinese people made for the export market, which were produced in different sizes, some with silk clothes and real hair attachments, and representing a variety of ages, occupations and lifestyles. A slightly smaller porcelain ‘nodding-head’ figure of a Chinese man was in the Ionides Collection. An exceptional and large figure of a Chinese lady (106 cm high) is in the RA Collection.

Provenance: Collection of an aristocratic 18th-century Roman Cardinal; By descent through the family

Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain & Works of Art. Directors: Jorge Welsh, Luísa Vinhais. Rua da Misericórdia, 41-47, 1200-270 Lisbon, Portugal. T  +351 21 395 33 75 – F  +351 21 393 07 03 – pt@jorgewelsh.com 

Jorge Welsh and Luísa Vinhais, with galleries in London and Lisbon, are internationally recognized specialists in oriental porcelain and works of art related to the Portuguese expansion presenting high quality objects from Africa, India, Asia, China and Japan.
Their expertise in this vast area, is reflected not only in their activity as international art dealers and advisors to collections, but also in their contribution to the academic world through their publishing company, their research and sponsorship of projects aimed at furthering the knowledge and understanding of Oriental Art and their contribution to international exhibitions. Every year an exhibition and scholarly catalogue is produced, resulting from years of collecting and research.
Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain and Works of Art in London and, Jorge Welsh Porcelana Oriental e Obras de Arte, Lda in Lisbon have sold to major private collectors, institutions, and museums all over the world.
All Jorge Welsh pieces have their own individual illustrated certificate with full description, discussion, period, condition and related bibliography.