A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding
Lot 36*
A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding
Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding
Sold for £ 368,750 (US$ 468,928) inc. premium

Fine Chinese Art

17 May 2018, 10:30 BST

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding
A very rare archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Fangding
Late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty, inscribed Zhu Fu Ding
Crisply cast in rectangular section supported on four straight legs decorated with cicada blades, the body cast with taotie masks in relief below pairs of confronted kui dragons, all reserved on a leiwen ground, centred and flanked at the edges with flanges, the top rim set with a pair of upright loop handles, the interior cast with a two-character inscription, with olive and light green patina and malachite encrustations. 26.2cm (10 1/4in) high.

Footnotes

  • 商末/西周初 青銅饕餮紋方鼎
    「壴父丁」金文鑄款

    Provenance: The Mengdiexuan Collection

    Exhibited:
    Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong & Urban Council of Hong Kong, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, 12 October - 2 December 1990
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong, 21 September 2001 - 5 October 2005
    Chinese University Hong Kong Art Museum, Divine Power: The Dragon in Chinese Art, 12 February - 7 November 2012

    Published and Illustrated:
    J.Rawson and E.Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1990, p.98, no.19
    Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2004, p.104

    來源:香港夢蝶軒收藏

    展覽:
    1990年10月12日至12月2日於香港市政局暨香港東方陶瓷學會「青銅聚英:中國古代與鄂爾多斯青銅器展覽」展出
    2001年9月21日至2005年10月5日於香港美術館「金木水火土:香港文物收藏精品展」展出
    2012年2月12日至11月7日於香港中文大學美術館「雲行雨施:中國龍文物」特展展出

    出版:
    J.Rawson及E.Bunker著,《青銅聚英:中國古代與鄂爾多斯青銅器》,香港,1990年,頁98,編號19
    《金木水火土:香港文物收藏精品》,香港,2004年,頁104

    A related archaic bronze vessel, zun, early Western Zhou dynasty, in the Hirota Hiroshi Collection, Tokyo, cast with an identical inscription reading 'Zhu Fu Ding', is recorded by the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, in the Digital Archives of Bronze Images and Inscriptions, no.05639.

    Fangding are among the scarcest ritual vessels of the Bronze Age, and the present piece with its powerful taotie mask comprising kui dragons and robust shape is a rare example. Food vessels of square ding form were first produced in pottery as food containers in the Erlitou period and were later made in bronze in the Erligang period. In the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties, fangding were made for use in ancestral worship or other sacrificial ceremonies, and their ownership appears to have been strictly regulated; Li Xixing in The Shaanxi Bronzes, Xi'an, 1994, p.35, notes that in the Western Zhou period, the gentry were allowed to acquire three ding, high-ranking officers five, dukes seven, and the Emperor nine.

    Compare a very similar, but larger (29.6cm high) fangding, Shang dynasty, from the Qing Court Collection in the Collections of the Palace Museum: Bronzes, Beijing, 2007, p.29, no.12. For other similar examples from important museum and private collections, see one dated to the late Anyang period/ early Western Zhou dynasty, illustrated in Shang Ritual Bronzes in the National Palace Museum Collection, Taipei, 1998, pp.564-569, no.97; and another illustrated by B.Karlgren, 'Some Bronzes in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities', published in The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, 1949, no.21, pp.1-2, pl.1. A further example, from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated by R.L.d'Argence, Bronze Vessels of Ancient China in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1977, pp.74-75, pl.29; and compare also another illustrated by Takayasu Higuchi and Minao Hayashi, ed., Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Sakamoto Collection, Tokyo, 2002, pl.108.

    Compare with a similar but smaller (22.8cm high) fangding, Late Shang/ early Western Zhou dynasty, which was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong, 29 November 2016, lot 27.

    此方鼎內壁銘文為「壴父丁」,與日本東京廣田熙氏藏一件西周早期青銅尊上的銘文相同,該青銅尊所帶銘文之拓本,記錄於台北中央研究院歷史語言研究所的殷周金文暨青銅器資料庫,編號05639。

    方鼎為飪食器,早在二里頭文化中就出現陶鼎,金石並用時代如二里崗文化則出現青銅鼎,經過夏商兩代的發展,青銅鼎的使用在周代達到鼎盛。青銅鼎也是中國青銅器最重要的器形之一,常被用作祭祀神明的禮器。西周的列鼎制度表現等級秩序明顯,貴族等級越高,使用鼎數越多。據《禮書》記載,西周時天子用九鼎,諸侯一般用七鼎,卿大夫用五鼎,士用三鼎,可詳閱李西興,《陝西青銅器》,西安,1994年,頁35。

    北京故宮博物院藏一件清宮舊藏商代青銅方鼎可資參考,形制與本拍品非常相似但尺寸稍大(29.6厘米),見《故宮收藏:青銅器》,北京,2007年,頁29,編號12。其他類似例子現藏於重要博物館及私人收藏,見台北國立故宮博物院藏一例,為商安陽晚期/西周早期,見《故宮商代青銅禮品圖錄》,台北,1998年,頁564-569,編號97;斯德哥爾摩遠東博物館藏一例可作對比,著錄於B.Karlgren,「Some Bronzes in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities」一文,出版於斯德哥爾摩遠東博物館刊,1949年,編號21,頁1-2,圖版1。另見舊金山亞洲藝術博物館藏一例,見R.L.d'Argence,《Bronze Vessels of Ancient China in the Avery Brundage Collection》,舊金山,1977年,頁74-75,圖版29;再參考坂本五郎舊藏一例,出版於樋口隆康、林巳奈夫主編《不言堂坂本五郎中國青銅器清賞》,東京,2002年,圖版108。

    香港邦瀚斯曾售出一件商晚期/西周早期的青銅方鼎,形制類似但尺寸比本器小(22.8厘米高),2016年11月29日,拍品編號27。
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