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More than a Game / A BRONZE 'DRAGONS' ARROW VASE, TOUHU Yuan Dynasty

Lot 17
Yuan Dynasty
29 May 2022, 14:00 HKT
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Sold for HK$70,125 inc. premium

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Yuan Dynasty
Heavily cast with a compressed globular body rising from a spreading foot and surmounted by a tall cylindrical neck, the body interrupted by three raised scalloped flanges, each side cast in relief with archaistic taotie masks and a pushou handle suspending a loose ring, the splayed foot decorated with stylised cicadas, all below two sinuous dragons writhing around the neck below a pair of tubular lug handles flanking the upper neck, with a warm brown tone patina. 47.2cm (18 5/8in) high, 6kg.


元 銅饕餮紋龍紋帶鋪首三出戟投壺

Christie's South Kensington, London, 2 May 1985
The Brian Harkins Collection


The forked and scrolling mane on the head of the chilong seems typical of the Southern Song to Yuan dynasties. Compare with lot 45 and its footnote for two gold and silver vessels of the Southern Song dynasty decorated with related chilong.

The raised bosses on the shoulder are believed to be plum blossom buds which is a popular motif in the Yuan dynasty, commonly decorated on Longquan wares from the Yuan to early Ming dynasties. Compare a Longquan celadon incense burner, Yuan dynasty, in the Longquan Museum, Zhejiang, with plum blossom bosses along the mouth rim, illustrated by M.Wang, 'Song Yuan Fanggu Qingtongqi Shang De Wenyang'(The Decoration on the Bronzes in Song and Yuan Dynasties), Shoucangjia(The Collectors), October 2010, p.53, fig.34. Compare also the bosses on the present vase to those on two bronze vases in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc.nos.:2698-1856 and 168-1876.

The combination of taotie motif with lion-mask handles is also a typical design from the Southern Song to the Yuan dynasties. See a silver bowl, Southern Song dynasty, excavated in Pengzhou, Sichuan, illustrated in The Song Dynasty Gold and Silver Hoard from Pengzhou in Sichuan, Beijing, 2002, pl.38-2.

Compare the archaistic design, jiaoye, plantain leaves on the neck with those on a bronze vase, 12th-14th century, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated by R.Kerr, Later Chinese Bronzes, London, 1990, p.15, no.1, and on another bronze vase in Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc.no.:2021.294.


此壺龍首鬚髯分叉成卷雲狀,乃南宋至元代風格,參考拍品45及其腳註所列兩例南宋金銀器所飾螭龍。肩部鼓釘,細查實則為梅花花苞式樣,乃元代流行紋飾,常見於元代至明初龍泉窯,可比較一件浙江龍泉博物館藏元代龍泉窯香爐口沿處乳釘梅花紋,見王牧撰,《宋元仿古青銅器上的紋樣》,載於《收藏家》,2010年10月,頁53,圖34。英國維多利亞及艾伯特博物館藏兩件元代銅器頸部亦飾此類乳釘梅花紋,館藏編號2698-1856及168-1876。饕餮紋配獅頭銜環鋪首亦是南宋至元代典型紋飾,參考一件四川彭州出土之南宋銀溫碗,見《四川彭州宋代金銀器窖藏》,北京,2002年,圖版38-2。蕉葉紋可參考英國維多利亞及艾伯特博物館藏一件十二至十四世紀銅壺,見柯玫瑰著,《Later Chinese Bronzes》,倫敦,1990年,頁15,圖1;另可比較紐約大都會博物館藏一件元代銅壺,館藏編號2021.294。

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