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More than a Game / A BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU 12th-13th century

Lot 3
12th-13th century
29 May 2022, 14:00 HKT
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Sold for HK$70,125 inc. premium

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12th-13th century
The compressed globular body cast with a band of archaistic kui dragon, the tall neck flanked by two lug handles decorated with a band of archaistic kui dragon scroll against a spiral ground, all raised on a spreading foot cast with pendent blades, petal lappets and two bands of key-fret, similarly decorated on the shoulder and the lower section of the neck. 44.7cm (17 5/8in) high, 3.8kg.


十二至十三世紀 銅仿古蟠夔紋雙貫耳投壺

Sotheby's, New York, 24 June 1992
The Brian Harkins Collection


The present vase is decorated on the body with four of the 'Eight Treasures': a rhinoceros horn, a double-lozenge, a set of scrolls and a silver ingot. Compare a carved black lacquer square box also decorated with the Eight Treasures, Southern Song dynasty, in the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, Japan, illustrated in The Colors and Forms of Song and Yuan China, Tokyo, 2004, p.104. This type of motif is also common to blue and white porcelain of the Yuan dynasty. See a blue and white jar decorated with the similar 'Eight Treasures' near the foot, Yuan dynasty, in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, illustrated in Splendors in Smalt: Art of Yuan Blue and White Porcelain, Shanghai, 2012, no.6.

The archaistic 'kui dragon'-scroll motif seen on the present vase, can be compared with that on a bronze vase, Yuan dynasty, illustrated by D.Failla, Food for the Ancestors, Flowers for the Gods, 2017, p.218, fig.7.3. Compare also with related silver censer, Southern Song dynasty, with similar pattern unearthed in Yiwu, Zhejiang, which is illustrated by the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in the Zhongxing Jisheng: Nansong Fengwu Guanzhi (Achievements of Southern Song Dynasty Material Art), Beijing, 2015, p.175.


宋元銅器較少見裝飾八寶紋樣,所謂八寶未必一定是固定八樣吉祥紋飾,而是從珊瑚枝、珊聰珠、金錠、銀錠、萬卷書,單犀角、雙犀角、方勝、雙勝、古錢、火珠(或稱寶珠)、筆錠、如意頭、法螺、磐、秋葉等吉祥紋飾中選八樣、四樣、兩樣。發軔於宋,興於元,明清皆流行之。此壺所飾八寶可辨者有犀角、方勝、萬卷書、銀錠四樣。裝飾八寶的南宋器物可參考一件日本鶴岡八幡宮藏南宋堆黑長命富貴方箱,見《宋元の美―伝来の漆器を中心に》,東京,2004年,頁104。元代青花瓷則常見此類裝飾,如大阪市立東洋陶瓷美術館藏一件元代青花魚藻紋罐底部即飾有類似八寶紋樣,見上海博物館編,《幽藍神采:元代青花瓷器特集》,上海,2012年,編號6。此壺蟠夔紋可比較浙江義烏出土一件南宋銀樽式爐之紋飾,見浙江省博物馆編,《中興紀勝: 南宋風物觀止》,北京,2015年,頁175。

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