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More than a Game / A RARE BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU Yuan/Ming Dynasty

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

Sold for HK$102,000 inc. premium

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Yuan/Ming Dynasty
The compressed globular body cast with four high-relief beast heads alternating with fin-shaped flanges, all reserved on a honeycomb diaper ground, rising from a splayed pedestal foot cast with a classic-scroll border and lingzhi sprays against leiwen ground, the tall neck divided into three sections with the middle decorated with taotie masks reserved on leiwen ground, between a classic-scroll border and a register with relief decoration of cast jewels and tassels reserved against a taotie mask and leiwen ground, all below the top flanked by a pair of handles decorated around the edges with bosses enclosing diaper ground. 30.1cm (11 7/8in) high, 3.1kg.


元/明 銅龜背饕餮紋雙貫耳投壺

Phillips, London, 18 September 1986
The Brian Harkins Collection


The hexagonal diaper on this vase was popular in Song and Yuan dynasties, and it was sharpened by carving after casting. Compare a bronze 'garlic head' vase with similar concentric hexagonal diaper, which was excavated in Haining, Zhejiang, illustrated by M.Wang, 'Song Yuan Fanggu Qingtongqi Shang De Wenyang', in Shoucangjia, October 2010, p.48, pl.11. The high-relief ornament on the neck are related to that on the beaded necklace of Buddhist figures during the Yuan to the early Ming dynasties. Compare a gilt-bronze figure of Vajrasattva, Yongle, with beaded necklaces, illustrated in Classics of the Forbidden City: Sculptures in the Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2012, pl.200.

The leafy scroll on the present vase is in the style of the early Ming dynasty. Compare with a gilt-bronze figure of Sakyamuni similarly decorated on the stand with a leafy scroll in the British Museum, illustrated by C.Clunas and J.Harrison-Hall, Ming: 50 Years That Changed China, London, 2014, p.227, fig.195.


此壺龜背紋承襲自宋元,可參考浙江海寧出土一件元代蒜頭瓶,其龜背紋一如此壺,為多層同心六格網狀分佈,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48,圖11。頸部瓔珞則常見於元代至明早期佛教造像,參考北京故宮藏一件明永樂銅鎏金金剛薩埵像胸前瓔珞,見《故宮雕塑圖典》,北京,2012年,圖版200。此壺所飾卷草紋亦有明代早期風格,可比較大英博物館藏一件明永樂銅鎏金釋迦牟尼像底座所飾卷草紋,見 Craig Clunas 及Jessica Harrison-Hall編, 《Ming: 50 Years that Changed China》,北京,2012年,頁227,圖195。

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