Although we have classified these figures as Chinese Export Porcelain it is not as simple a that. Small models of boys were made in China from early times, they adorned family alters as part a hope for children, that is to say boys, to be conceived. Several years ago we had a similar Qianlong Porcelain model of a boy which had cold painted acupuncture pointed painted on the body and a small cloth bib, both added in China probably in the 19th century. However, it is clear large numbers of these boys were made for export to Europe as they occur in various shipwrecks, the Ca Mau c.1730, Nanking 1752 and even Tek Sing Cargo of 1822. Porcelain figures were part of the `Private Trade`, the Captain and crews privileged private trading rights.
For similar but earlier and less clearly defined Chinese Export Porcelain Models of boys from the Yongzheng Period 1723-1735 see : “Made in Imperial China”, the Sotheby`s Sale of Chinese Porcelain from the Ca Mau Cargo, Lots 812 to 832.
For very similar Chinese Export Porcelain figures see : Christie`s Amsterdam, The Nanking Cargo, Chinese Export Porcelain and Gold, 28th April-2nd May 1986.
A pair of very similar Chinese Export Porcelain figures dated to c.1725-1750 are at the Victoria and Albert Museum London in their ceramics gallery, ref. C28&A-1969.