An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, gu Late Shang Period, 12th-11th cenutry BC
Lot 3
An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, gu Shang Dynasty, 12th/11th century BC
Sold for £378,400 (US$ 592,121) inc. premium

Lot Details
An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, gu Late Shang Dynasty, 12th/11th century BC An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, gu Late Shang Period, 12th-11th cenutry BC
An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, gu
Shang Dynasty, 12th/11th century BC
Of slender form rising from a hollow base to a trumpet mouth, crisply cast with four tapering blades cast with raised bosses and swirls against a leiwen ground, emerging from a band of snake motifs, the foot and middle section separated by two raised concentric bands, divided by segmented flanges and similarly depicting taotie masks reserved on a leiwen ground, the interior of the foot cast with three pictograms, reading Yang Ze Che.
32.5cm (12¾in) high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Purchased from John Sparks Ltd., London on 19 November 1946 for £250
    Wing Commander Lord Cunliffe, collection no.A26

    Exhibited: Oriental Ceramic Society, Exhibition of Early Chinese Bronzes, 7 November-15 December 1951, Catalogue no.41

    Illustrated: E.E.Bluett, Chinese Works of Art in English Collections. I - Early Jades and Metal-work in the Collection of the Rt.Hon.Lord Cunliffe, Apollo, March 1957, p.84, fig.IX.

    This lot will be sold with a copy of the original report on the inscription by W.Perceval Yetts, dated April 1939 which suggests that the inscription may refer to a personal name.

    The decorative elements on the current gu vessel indicate a 12th century BC dating as consistent with the Style V period of Shang bronze production. The high-relief casting bears closest resemblance to an example of similar size, illustrated by R.W.Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M.Sackler Collections, Washington D.C., 1987, no.36. Compare also a related example dated to the late Shang Period, excavated in Henan Province in 1978 and currently in the CASS Institute of Archaeology, which is published in Zhongguo qingtong qitu ji, Beijing, 2005, p.118.
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