A rare model of a jay bird, circa 1790. Estimate $15,000 – $25,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The colorful bird leaning over to inspect a small frog; 4 ¾ in. (12 cm.) high
The James E. Sowell Collection
Literature: op. cit., p. 285, no. 21.3.
Notes: This Chinese model is derived from Meissen porcelain, with a similar figure by Kaendler depicting a jay looking at a beetle. However, it was probably made from a drawing rather than a porcelain original. The bird has a ‘corvid’ appearance and is probably based on the Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandrius) first described by Linnaeus in 1758, familiar to both East and West.
Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza