Famille Verte Headrest with Courtyard Scenes

20th Century
$780 USD
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W: 9.25" D: 6.25" H: 7.0"
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This large porcelain block is an oversized version of the headrests once used by well-to-do women to keep their elaborate hairstyles intact while sleeping. Its exaggerated scale and flat sides make this headrest the ideal canvas for intricate famille verte enamel decoration. Each side is painted with a fanciful scene of courtly life, from leisurely strolls through the garden to calligraphy practice beneath a pine tree. The sides feature painted butterflies, symbols of happiness, and decorative cutouts in the shape of interlocking coins, symbols of wealth and prosperity.

From the collection of Frances and Gary Comer.

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Headrests and neck pillows have been used since ancient times to keep the head elevated while sleeping and hold the body in a comfortable position. Whether functional or purely decorative, such headrests were crafted from a variety of materials and were often decorated with elaborate patterns or symbolic motifs.


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