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],
vol. 6, p. 69, no. 106.
For a closely related example sold at auction, see a pair of smaller white jade ‘quail’ boxes and covers, sold in these rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 333.