A rare bronze archaistic mythical beast-form water pot  Song to Ming Dynasty
Lot 161
A rare archaistic bronze 'mythical beast' water pot Song-Ming Dynasty
Sold for £5,760 (US$ 9,671) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A German Private Collection of Post-Archaic Bronzes, formed in East Germany in the 1950s-70s (lots 161-167)
A rare archaistic bronze 'mythical beast' water pot
Song-Ming Dynasty
The mythical beast cast standing four-square with deep bulging eyes, curved horns, winged haunches and a circular aperture to its back, holding an oval ear cup in its lower jaw, the bronze with a dark patina.
19.1cm (7½in) long


  • The present water pot bears relation to a similar group of excavated mythical beast models, most probably originally used as oil lamps, dated to the late Han-Six Dynasties. See one example of this type illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Bronze Articles for Daily Use, Hong Kong, 2006, no.137. Another example from the McLaren collection was included in the Bluett & Sons, Ltd. exhibition (for comparative purposes only) Dr Newton's Zoo: A Study of Post-Archaic Small Jade Carvings, London, 1981, Catalogue no.9. See another, perhaps optimistically dated to the Zhou Dynasty, illustrated by G.Oprescu, Orientalische Kunst in Rumänien, Budapest, 1963, fig.3.

    Later examples dated loosely to the Song/Ming Dynasties include one illustrated by Sydney L.Moss Ltd., The Second Bronze Age. Later Chinese Metalwork, London, 1981, Catalogue no.23; and another formerly in the Desmond Gure and Sackler collections, which was sold at Christie's New York, 25 March 2010, lot 1073.
  1. Asaph Hyman
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
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    United Kingdom
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