Chinese collection

Item LL 61

Accession no: LL 61
Object type: Ceramic
Name: Figure of K'uei Hsing (Kui Xing)
Materials: Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration in famille verte style
Place made: Jingdezhen, China
Date made: Qing Dynasty, Kangxi (1662-1722 AD)
Measurements: H. 32 cm

Description: K'uei Hsing (Kui Xing) is a character in Chinese mythology, the god of examinations, and an associate or servant of the god of literature, Wen Chang.
Standing on a fish-dragon's head, he holds up a writing brush in his right hand. He is said to have been an historical figure, a poor but brilliant student called Zhong Kui who passed the imperial examinations with high honours. However, because he was ugly, he was not allowed to enter government service. In despair, he drowned himself but was carried by a fish-dragon up to heaven where he became a star ('Xing' in Chinese) of the Great Bear constellation (known in China as the Palace of Literary Genius).

Bought from Frank Partridge, 29 July 1915, gifted to the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 1922. Partridge to A. J. H. Howard, 9 August, 1915, Partridge Papers.

R. L. Hobson, Chinese Porcelain and Wedgwood Pottery with Other Works of Ceramic Art, London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1928, No. 340.