REF No. 6815 GG
GG: Pair of Chinese porcelain maiden figures modelled as flattened wall sconces with vases
Qianlong period circa 1760
Height: 14½ inches; 37cm
from the Golden Gate Collection
A pair of famille rose porcelain candleholders modelled as standing maidens, each perched on a dragon, the backs flattened and with apertures for wall mounting.
This form is a rare adaptation of the usual type, both as a wall pocket and also the inclusion of the dragons, though the heads of these also resemble the qilin heads in some export models.
The dragon is a male symbol (yang), connected to the east and the light and adopted as a symbol of imperial authority. Dragons are rare in export porcelain figures, usually appearing as attachments to other objects, such as handles on vases. The first dragon rose out of the sea, appearing before the sage Fu Xi and filling a great hole in the sky made by another monster; thus a dragon controls the weather and the seasons.