Pair of Hawks
Qianlong Period Circa 1750
Height: 10 1/2 inches, 27cm
A fine pair of hawks modelled affronte seated on rocks, finely enamelled in sepia and gold with green irises, gold beaks, and yellow legs, the pierced rockwork enamelled in blue and pink.
The are very finely modelled with an intelligent, piercing stare and with detailed painting to the plumage.
Hawks were very popular in China. Small hawks were widely used for hunting winged game, especially wildfowl.
Marco Polo relates that Qubilai travelled with 'quite five hundred' trained birds of prey and that they had special feeding stations for these animals when travelling (haiqing zhan).