9952 An unusually small pair of Japanese Arita figures, probably actors, decorated in traditional colours, the man with a black robe with reserved pattern, the lady wearing a kimono with large flower sprays. Restoration to one neck, otherwise perfect.
Height; 17.5 cms
9952 Arita figures of actors and courtesan beauties or bijan were popular exports to Europe via Holland in the late 17th and early 18th century. Cast in simple moulds the porcelain bodies follow a traditional pattern of upright heads and long, flowing robes, the main distinction being in the style of decoration of the robes.
A large and extensive collection of Arita figures including fine actors and wrestlers can be seen in Burghley House, Stamford, an indication of the popularity of these far eastern novelties in England. In the Netherlands, the Royal Palace of Huis Ten Bosch in The Hague has a collection of very similar small figures of actors, now arranged in the Japanese Room.
An nearly identical male actor figure is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.