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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clay painted with unfired pigments

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 14, shelf 1 []

Figures portraying Chinese people were popular export items for the European market during the 18th and 19th centuries, and were used to decorate the interior of private houses. European clients viewed them as interesting and 'exotic' representations, as they portrayed unfamiliar face features and fashion styles.

This figure of a Chinese woman is made in clay and decorated with unfired pigments; the loose head is fixed on a metal pin inside, so that it could nod and move when shaken.

Physical description

Standing figure of a woman, facing front, wearing a long overcoat in pale green and a white vest, both with floral designs on the front and hemmed in black; one shoe is protruding and the left hand holds the end of a scarf in front of the body. The figure stands on a low base. The loose head and neck are fixed on a metal pin inside so as to nod when shaken; the figure is hollow and the pigments are unfired.

Place of Origin

China (made)


ca. 1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Clay painted with unfired pigments


Height: 24.3 cm

Descriptive line

Figure of a Chinese woman with nodding head, painted clay, China, Qing dynasty, ca. 1800

Labels and date

Pair of figures with nodding heads
Painted clay
About 1800 [1987]




Painted; Moulding

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Woman


Household objects; Ceramics; Figures & Decorative ceramics


East Asia Collection

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