Pierre Verlet, "Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe siècle", 1987, p. 26, pl. 12, illustrating a pair of almost identical gilt bronze mounted Kangxi parrots in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Daniel Alcouffe, Anne Dion-Tenenbaum, and Gérard Mabille, "Gilt Bronzes in the Louvre", 2004, p. 128, illustrating the same comparable pair of gilt bronze mounted Kangxi parrots in the Musée du Louvre.
An extremely fine pair of Régence gilt bronze mounted Kangxi turquoise glazed porcelain parrots, each bird naturalistically modelled, perched on a pierced violet enamelled rockwork base and mounted on a Régence gilt bronze oval base edged with trefoils above stylised egg-and-dart and engraved strap-work borders
The porcelain parrots: China, probably Jingdezhen, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, date circa 1700.
The gilt bronzes: Paris, date circa 1720
Height 24 cm. each.
The almost identical mounted Chinese turquoise glazed parrots from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) in the Musée du Louvre were mentioned in the inventory of Queen Marie Antoinette's collection along with a porcelain fountain (with faux-dogs) and a pair of turquoise Kangxi vases (which are now also in the Louvre). They were described as "Deux perroquets, même porcelain bleu, posés sur une manière de rocher violet, montés en bronze, hauteur 8 pouces ½ (0.23 m)". Although the present parrots are of the same size as those in the Louvre, the mounts of the latter are slightly shorter in height and of a later date, circa 1785, having a wavy oval outline and a foliate border. The Queen's parrot would undoubtedly have been supplied by a marchand-mercier - most probably Claude-François Julliot (1727-94) or Simon-Philippe Poirier (1720-1785). Marie Antoinette's parrots later appeared in the Tuileries Palace, near the aforementioned fountain and the vases, in 1833 they decorated the apartments of the duc d'Orléans, where they were listed in the cabinet de toilette. They were then moved to Château de Saint-Cloud from where they were removed to the Louvre on 8th September 1870.
During the Kangxi period, Chinese potters made a number of naturalistic parrots, cranes and other exotic birds as well as animal figurines at the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, near Nanking. Like other porcelain works produced there, nearly all were intended for the export market to the West. The majority of these wares were purchased from one of the East Indies companies by the Parisian marchands-merciers who, catering for the growing vogue for gilt bronze mounted porcelain, then oversaw their final assembly. An almost identical pair of turquoise glazed parrots with slightly later Louis XVI mounts was once in the Ren Fribourg Collection, sold Sotheby's London 28th June 1963, lot 144, they were later in the Ortiz-Linares Collection and subsequently in the Alexander Collection. The latter also included a polychrome red glazed parrot of the same design that was assembled in Paris as a two-light candelabrum. In other instances pairs of turquoise parrots were mounted with a matching pot-pourri vase to become a fontaine à parfum, such as one formerly in the Alexander Collection, which had been arranged as a pyramidal composition, from a central vase above a pair of parrots either side within rocaille gilt bronze mounts.