Condition: Excellent

Chinese Shiwan (Shekwan) Ware | Mudman | General Xiong Fei | 1890-1900

Mud figures illustratiing historic, folklore and popular literary works in their time inspire the general Chinese population. As a result, Shiwan potters paid particular attention to the facial expressions of the figurines.  The Expression may appear exaggerated, but instead actually captured the unique character of the subjects. To the potters, the spirit was more important than the form, and the expressive, unique character of each subject through their facial and body depictions and were critical, and the ability of the potters to capture that spirit was important in giving life to their works.

This example of General Xiong Fei, who was known as the “Invader of Mongols”, represents the typical rough quality of the Shiwan clay, which was especially suitable for modeling of figurines with masculine qualities.  Notice that the face and hand are left unglazed, to fully project the masculine effect. The celadon glaze on his robe, with a contrasting blue staff, is simply executed. He wears the standard headdress of the period.

Condition: Excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. This piece is unmarked, indicating it was made early in the period, (1890-1900). Dimensions: 2-1/2”w x 4-0”h (6.3cm x 10.16cm).

Additional Information: 

Please refer to our Discovery section for historical information on Shiwan Ceramics | Mud Figures, and our Book section, for out- of-print books for sale on the subject.

Site revisions and maintenance by Max Cheswick