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Large Chinese blue and white Long Eliza dish, Kangxi (1662-1722), painted in underglaze cobalt blue to the central roundel with a scene of two ladies in long flowing robes meeting in a blossom garden to admire a jardiniere of flowering peony; the wide foliate rim with eight lappet-shaped panels containing further vignettes of the ladies admiring floral displays all against an interlocking cell ground; the reverse with floral sprays and Kangxi mark within concentric circles.
‘Long Eliza’ is a term used to describe the tall women on Chinese export porcelain and comes from the Dutch ‘Lange Lijzen’.The pair of women usually consists of a taller, normally understood to represent He Xiangu, and a shorter, representing Lan Caihe. Both figures are semi-historical Daoist Immortals; the former being a pure maiden who floats on clouds and consumes moonbeams, and the latter being a musician and benevolent patron whose attribute is a flower basket, to which the jardiniere on this plate possibly alludes.
A similar plate can be found in the collection of the Rijksmuseum (AK-RBK-16289)