More than a Game / A VERY RARE BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU Yuan Dynasty
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A VERY RARE BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU
Finely cast with a compressed globular body rising from a spreading foot and surmounted by a tall cylindrical neck with a pair of tubular lug handles at the top, the body cast in relief with four auspicious beasts interspersed between fin-shaped flanges, the shoulders enclosed with a band of lappets enclosing honeycomb diaper ground, the tall neck cast in high relief with two sinuous dragons around the midsection of the neck above bow-string band and a register of huiwen ground. 35.5cm (14in) high, 3.1kg.
Jeremy Mason, London, 22 November 1989
The Brian Harkins Collection
The present vase is impressively cast with the sinuous chi dragons in one piece, writhing across the neck of the vase with further carved detail. The depiction of the dragons stretching out their limbs, extending vertically along one side of the vessel is common on the porcelain of the Yuan and the early Ming dynasties. Compare with a reverse-decorated blue and white dish with similarly decorated dragons in the Ataka collection, Yuan, illustrated in Sekai tōji zenshū (Ceramic Art of the World), Tokyo, 1976, vol.13, p.108, pl.88.
The band of lappets on the shoulder forming a quatrefoil pattern or shidi wen overall, and further dividing the pedals by foliage somewhat are in the shape of pagoda, which can be also widely found on porcelain in Yuan and early Ming dynasties. Compare with a blue and white 'peony' jar similarly decorated lotus petals near the foot in Shanghai Museum, Yuan dynasty, illustrated in Splendors in Smalt: Art of Yuan Blue and White Porcelain, Shanghai, 2012, no.8.