Pair of turquoise and aubergine enamelled Chinese biscuit parrots placed on pierced rocks China, Kangxi period (1662-1722) H 21 cm Similar items with a gilt bronze base that belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette are kept at the Louvre Museum (Département des Objets d’Art).
This pair of birds is over 300 years old, a period that corresponds to the reign of Louis XIV in France. Despite this, its stylisation and bright turquoise-blue colour make it very modern. Unlike a more traditional porcelain piece with a white base, here the translucent coloured enamel has been applied directly to the biscuit (the raw porcelain). Pairs of animals were highly sought-after by European collectors from the 17th century onwards, for their highly visual appearance and symmetry. Auguste Le Fort, Prince Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, had some in his vast and famous collection, and similar pieces with gilded bronze mounts belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette and are kept in the Louvre Museum's objets d'art department.