Object of desire

14th October, 2018

Famed as ‘the fragrant concubine’, the 18th-century consort of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty is celebrated in paintings, films and literature. Legend has it that the emperor was captivated by her body odour, possibly down to her habit of bathing in camel’s milk. Mullen’s sale this week has a unique painted porcelain example catalogued as after Giuseppe Castiglione. Bid for it at the second part of Mullen’s Art of China Collection sale tomorrow,...

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