SHUNZHI or KANGXI c.1650 – 1700 Blanc de Chine Porcelain
A Rare Blanc de Chine Porcelain Model of a Qilin, Dehua Kilns, Fujian Province, Shunzhi to Late Kangxi Period c.1650-1700. The Moulded Model of a Qilin Sits Next to a Upright Cylinder to Take an Incense Stick on a Tall Rectangular Base.
- The tail has been broken off and very well restuck. Losses to the peaks on the beasts head, a fine crack from the upper jaw to the nose c.30 mm.
- Height : 34.8 cm (13 1/2 inches)
- An English Private Collection of Chinese Porcelain and Pottery.
- Stock number
Qilin or Kylin.
A Qilin (Kylin) is a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creature. Despite its fierce demeanour it is a good omen that brings Rui (roughly translated as `serenity` or `prosperity`), longevity, illustrious offspring and wise administration. The scaly body has a dragons head, hooves and can appear to have fire issuing from its body. The male Qilin is called a Qi and the female a Lin. The male often has horns. These creatures carefully tread to avoid all living insects or destroy grass under foot, it is reputed to be able to walk on water as well as land. Qilin only appear to mankind when an emperor of the highest benevolence sits on the throne or when a sage is about to be born.
There is a strong argument that the Qilin is a stylised representation of the giraffe. This is because the Qilin is referred to only since the Ming Dynasty. The time of its first reference correspond roughly with the voyages of Zheng He, there were seven voyages between 1405 and 1433 (Zheng He lived c.1371–1435). It is known that on Zheng He`s voyage to East Africa (landing, among other places, in modern-day Kenya), the fleet brought back two giraffes to Beijing. It is also known that these two giraffes were referred to as Qilins. The Emperor proclaimed the giraffes magical creatures, whose capture signalled the greatness of his power.