A pair of cloisonné enamel standing ladies
Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, 1622-1722, China
Each is standing on a stepped rectangular base decorated with plantain leaves, fully dressed in layered garments of varying designs and colours, the legs covered by pleated skirts leading down to the bound feet and shoes. The faces are painted in flesh tones in the same manner as other Ming dynasty 17th century painted bronze figures, and both figures wear elaborate suspended earrings, diadems and hair styles set with a gilt dragon pin. The ladies each perform rather elaborate and exaggerated hand gestures and one of the carries a sword, suggesting that the figures may represent opera performers.