A Famille Rose chocolate pot China, early 18th century
A Famille Rose chocolate pot
China, early 18th century
Decorated with overglaze enamels, showing a scene from Act III of `The Romance of the Western Chamber` by the Yuan Dynasty Playwright Wang Shifu (c.1260-1336). It Depicts Zhang Sheng, a Young Scholar Clambering Over a Wall to Meet His Young Lover Cui Yingying.
H. 16.5 cm
Romance of the West Chamber / Xi Xiang Ji :
The scene of Zhang Sheng, a young scholar clambering over a wall to meet his young lover Cui Yingying appears frequently on Chinese porcelain of the 17th and 18th century. This is the most recognisable of a large group of designs taken from the West Chamber. It is based on a scene in Act III of this famous Chinese literary work written by the Yuan Dynasty playwright Wang Shifu (c.1260-1336) it was set during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It has had an enduring appeal, some of the very first narrative scenes decorated on Chinese blue and white porcelain are taken from this story, they were produced during the Yuan dynasty in the mid-14th century and the designs have been used ever since. The story is of young lovers consummating their love without parental approval and has been called `China`s most popular love comedy` and a `lover`s bible`. At the same time, some have called it potentially dangerous, as there are stories of readers pining away under its influence.
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