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Dia.: 55 cm
- A Dutch private collection.
- Sold in these rooms on April 24, 2016, lot 795. (Sold EUR 38.250) (link)
- Lempertz, Brussels, June 18, 2017, lot 1410, for a related famille verte example of this size. (Sold EUR 64.480) (link)
- Sotheby's, London, April 30, 2015, lot 870, for a related famille rose example of the same size with similarly decorated rim but with a different central scene. (Sold GBP 55.000) (link)
The scene shows Mu Guiying and seven others of the Yang widows preparing for battle, overseen by family matriarch She Taijun. The story comes from tales of the Yang dan in the early Northern Song Dynasty. General Yang Ye was a great warrior who defended the Middle Kingdom against attacks from the Khitan forces of the Liao Dynasty. In a collection of stories known as Yang Jia Jiang (General of the Yang clan) Yang Ye famously defended the Yanmen Pass in the Great Wall, becoming a favorite of the Emperor. This led to jealousy from the other generals who abandoned him on the battlefield and he was captured and killed. Yang Ye had eight sons, all great warriors and they successfully kept the Khitan forces at bay. This took its toll and eventually the last of the Yang generals was killed as the enemy forces closed in. As such, it was left to the widows of the sons of Yang Ye, spurred on by his wife She Taijun, and led by her grand-daughter, Mu Guiying, widow of Yang Zonghao, to defend the Dynasty. They defeated the Khitan forces and then took charge of the emperor's army defeating a new threat from the Tangut forces of the Western Xia, saving the dynasty.