These unusual hounds are probably earlier models to the more frequently found examples, which are dated to the Qianlong period. It has been suggested that they may depict greyhounds, which were brought to China by the Portuguese from the 16th century onwards, but perhaps are more likely to represent the bony, long-muzzled hound native to China, which can be seen in many forms of Chinese art since the Tang dynasty. See W. R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, Salem, 1991, no. 33, pp. 84-6, and a Kangxi hound seated on a famille verte plinth from the Copeland Collection on p. 85. A pair of hounds from the Collection of Edouard Larcade, almost identical in form to the present lot but decorated with manganese markings over a dappled turquoise glaze, was sold Sotheby's, 28 May 1968, lot 197.