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Chinese famille rose 'ear-cleaning' figure group, Qianlong (1736-95), of a lady with one knee raised revealing a bound foot examining the ear of a man seated on a rockwork base, the lady with her hair in a high knot and wearing a striped robe underneath a long blue tunic with flowerheads; the seated man wearing a yellow tunic and blue jacket with large crane roundels
This figure group belongs to a series of 'erotic' figures which depict men carrying out intimate everyday activities with younger women, such as ear-cleaning and wine drinking, which W.H. Sargent suggests are preliminary to sexual advances. A wine drinking group from his series is illustrated in David S. Howard, 'The Choice of the Private Trader', p. 257, pl. 306. A rare group of 'erotic' figures from the Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann Collection was sold at Christie's in 2002.