The use of the word State, in later 19th century inventories, to describe this extraordinary room is very telling, for here was a room conceived to impress Royalty, a theatrical and splendid space inspired by George IV's chinoiserie Pavilion in Brighton. The Marchioness was part of the King's intimate circle and would have known his Brighton residence. As Prince of Wales he was to visit Ombersley in the September of 1807.
George IV, when Prince of Wales, acquired at least eight of these figures (RCIN 26082-26088) which were displayed in the Gallery at The Pavilion. They possibly originate from South China, within reach of the port of Guangzhou, one of the great centres for material exported to Europe. The Royal collection group relates very closely to the offered lot, in that they are extremely lifelike, have similar painted decoration, each has a prop - in this case a staff - and they feature 'marbled' stands. There is in extant bill in the Royal Archives from John Crace dated 1803 which includes; ‘Three Mandarine figures [£]9.9.0’ (Royal Archives GEO/MAIN/26353) these could be amongst the nodding head models ordered by the Prince of Wales for the Gallery. Crace may well have supplied the present figures to Marchioness.
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