Jade carvings of hound-like dogs in a resting pose with outstretched legs can be found from as early as the Tang dynasty, such as the carved figure included in the exhibition Chinese Jade Animals, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 68. The present piece belongs to a group of distinctive jade animals delicately carved in naturalistic poses, popular from the Song dynasty to the early Qing dynasty. Their utilitarian function was as paperweights, but it is likely that such high-quality, sensitively rendered sculptures were kept as 'playthings' for scholars or wealthy patrons.
A related crouching yellow jade hound, from the Hei-Chi collection, modelled with a similar coiling tail, sold in these rooms, 8th April 2010, lot 1987, was included in the exhibition Chinese Jade Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1983, cat. no. 136; and another, from the collection of Victor Shaw, was exhibited in Exquisite Jade Carving: Figures, Animals, Ornaments, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 79. See also a jade reclining dog, from the collections of Mrs Joan Barrow, Lord and Lady Cunliffe, and Mary and George Bloch, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Chinese Jade throughout the Ages, London, 1975, cat. no. 251, sold in these rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 20.
A jade dog from the Zhirouzhai collection, attributed to the Song dynasty, was included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving, op.cit., cat. no. 85, and sold in these rooms, 8th October 2008, lot 2312; and another was sold in these rooms, 8th April 2010, lot 2056. Compare also a jade reclining dog formerly in the Alsdorf collection, dated to the Ming dynasty or earlier illustrated in S. Marchant and Son, Post-Archaic Chinese Jades from Private Collections, London, 2000, cat. no. 78.