Lot 3402. A pair of white jade 'quail' boxes and covers, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795). 8.2 cm, 3 1/2 in. Estimate 150,000 — 250,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,000,000 HKD (128,810 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.
of mirror image, each depicted recumbent with legs tucked underneath its plump body, the head turned gently to one side, with round eyes and a short beak, the plumage finely worked in detail.
Provenance: JRalph M. Chait Galleries, New York, 2003.
Note: The present pair of quail boxes follows a type first developed sometime early in the Qianlong period which is represented in a number of collections. Compare a similar pair of quail boxes in the Seattle Art Museum also with their heads turned but carved from a slightly yellowish stone and dated to the Qianlong period, illustrated in James Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, cat. no. 73; see also a pair of boxes formerly in the collection of T.Y. Chao, sold in these rooms, 19th November 1986, lot 144, and a matching box in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete collection of Chinese jades], Shijiazhuang, 2005, vol. 6, p. 69, no. 106. See also a pair of smaller white jade ‘quail’ boxes and covers, sold in these rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 333