Lot 151. A pair of pale green and russet jade 'quail' boxes and covers, 18th-19th century; 11.6cm (4 1/2in) wide. Estimate £ 10,000 - 15,000. Sold for £ 18,812 (€ 21,300). © Bonhams 2001-2019.
Each well carved in the form of a quail, the cover delicately incised with overlapping layers of plumage covering the bird's head and extending across its plump body, the head detailed with elongated eyes and a short curved beak, the lower portion worked as the lower body of the bird similarly decorated with plumage above a pair of claws gently tucked under the base, the stone of a pale green colour with faint russet and cloudy inclusions.
Provenance: George Schultz collection, and thence by descent.
Note: Much admired in China for their courage and fighting spirit, pairs of quail, shuang an, are also a homophone for 'peace and prosperity'.
A related white jade 'quail' box, 18th century, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete collection of Chinese jades, Shijiazhuang, 2005, vol.6, p.69, no.106. A related pair of 'quail' boxes, Qianlong, with their heads turned, jade in the Seattle Museum, is illustrated by J.C.Y.Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, no.73.
A similar pair of white jade 'quail' boxes, Qianlong, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 October 2018, lot 3416.