Lot 149. A rare yellow and russet jade carving of a bird, Song Dynasty (960-1279); 5cm (2in) long. Estimate £16,000 - 20,000. Sold for £ 20,062 (€ 22,716). © Bonhams 2001-2019.
Well carved from a stone of yellow and russet tone, the mythical bird with pointed beak and incised feathers to the wings and tail, its head gently swayed to its right with legs tucked underneath the body.
Note: This type of bird carving exhibits an archaic-revival style and was likely inspired by jade carvings of the Han dynasty; for an example in the National Palace Museum, see Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth: Chinese Jades through the Ages, 2012, Taipei, no.3-3-6. For a Song dynasty example, compare the execution of the deftly-carved wings on a pale green jade bird, formerly in the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection, illustrated by J.C.Y.Watt, Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, New York, 1980, p.94, pl.78; see also a related example of a yellow jade bird with brown markings, from the collection of Mr and Mrs B.H.Tisdall, illustrated in Ibid., p.96, pl.81.
A similar yellow and russet jade carving of an eagle, Song dynasty, is illustrated by T.Fok, The Splendour of Jade: The Songzhutang Collection of Jade, Hong Kong, 2011, p.88, no.79 and was later sold at Bonhams Hong Kong, 30 May 2017, lot 58
Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, London, 16 May 2019