Chinese jade scroll weight in the form of a swallow, yan, resting beside a long branch of flowering prunus with leaves and buds, the end of the branch clasped in the swallow’s beak, with highly detailed work to the feathers and the forked tail and a gentle plume on its head and neck, the legs and claws neatly tucked underneath, the stone of even white tone.

11.5 cm long.

Yongzheng/Qianlong, circa 1730.


Available on request.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • From the collection of Mr O.J.R. Allen.
  • Purchased from John Sparks Ltd., 19th August 1986.
  • Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Chinese Jades from the O.J.R. Allen Collection, 2013, no. 23, pp. 48/9.
  • A Qing-dynasty double sparrow group in The Qing Court Collection with similarly detailed feathers is included by Zheng Xin Miao and Li Ji in Compendium of Collections in The Palace Museum, Jade, Volume 9, Qing Dynasty, Beijing, no. 147, p. 159; a Tang dynasty bird from the collection of Dr. Arthur Sackler with similar detailed work to the feathers is illustrated by Basil Gray, Jessica Rawson and John Ayers in Chinese Jade Throughout the Ages, Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 233.
  • The swallow, yan, is a black and white bird distinguished by its forked tail. The word for swallow, yan, is a pun for the words banquet, quiet and peaceful, all pronounced the same way. It is also a symbol of spring and peace.