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

12th-13th century
29 mai 2022, 14 h 00 UTC+8
Hong Kong, Admiralty

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12th-13th century
Sturdily cast with a compressed globular body rising from a spreading pedestal foot surmounted by a tall cylindrical neck flanked by a pair of tubular handles, the body interrupted by four protruding flanges, each side decorated in low relief with a taotie mask, the foot decorated with tumbling sea waves, the neck decorated with two bands of kui-dragon between a band of diaper-ground and a band of key-fret pattern, the handles and mouth similarly decorated with taotie masks, the surface of a warm and brownish patina. 44.4cm (17 1/2in) high, 4.8kg.


十二至十三世紀 銅仿古蟠夔紋雙貫耳投壺

The Brian Harkins Collection


The archaistic scrolls seen on the present vase's neck relate to the revival of archaism during the late Northern Song and Southern Song dynasties, which were influenced by the pankui wen (kui dragon scrolls) from the archaic bronzes of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Bogutu or Xuanhe Bogutu, the illustrated catalogue of archaic bronzes collected by the court of Norther Song dynasty, was first published in the fifth year of Yuanhe reign (1123), and republished in various editions in the Southern Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Compare the pankui wen with those decorated on a bronze ding in the Zhida chongxiu xuanhe bogu tulu (Xuanhe bogu tulu republished in the Zhida reign), in the National Palace Museum, Zhida period (1308-1311), vol.5, p.37. Compare also with the same vessel in a later edition of Xuanhe bogu tulu, republished in the sixteenth year of Wanli reign (1588) , in National archives, Japan, vol.5, p.22.

Compare a bronze square vessel decorated with similar bands of stylised achaistic scrolls, Southern Song dynasty, excavated from the tomb of Huang Shi, Zhejiang, illustrated by Y.W.Hu, 'Artifacts of the Junzi : A Study on the Archaistic Dui Vessels Unearthed from the Burial Site of the Lu Family in Lantian, Shaanxi Province', Yishu Xue Yanjiu (Journal of Art Studies), 2020, vol.5, p.75, pl.11-b. Compare also the band with a silver incense burner excavated in Zhejiang, which is illustrated in Zhejiang Provincial Museum, Zhongxing jisheng (The Achievements of Southern Song Dynasty), Beijing, 2015, p.175.

Compare with a thrid bronze vase decorated with similar scrolls, Yuan dynasty, excavated in the Zhenhai Pagoda, Haiyan, illustrated by L.Li, 'Zhenhai Pagoda at Haiyan and Unearthed Antiquities', Cultural Relics of the East, December 2002, p.37, pl.37. See also the archaistic scrolls around the body and the neck of two bronze vases, 12th-14th century, illustrated by R.Kerr, Later Chinese Bronzes, London, 1990, p.47, figs.35 and 36. See also the related archaistic scroll designs on a band of two bronze vases, 13th century and 14th century, illustrated by D.Failla, Food for the Ancestors Flowers for the Gods, Genova, 2017 , pp.130, 131 and 136, pls.7.3, 7.4 and 7.10.

According to scholarly research, the earliest dated example decorated with the angular leiwen pattern is a tripod vessel, dated fifth year of Chunxi (1178) in the Southern Song dynasty, excavated from a tomb in Wenzhou, which can be considered a prototype of the angular leiwen pattern on the present vase. The latest is an artifact excavated from a shipwreck off the coast of Sinan, South Korea, datable to 1323. For a discussion about this pattern, see Wang Mu, 'Zhongguo Nanfang Diqu Song Yuan Shiqi De Fanggu Qingtongqi' (The Archaistic Bronzes Excavated in Southern China), Cultural Relics in Southern China, 2011, pp.147-148, no.3.



可比較浙江南宋黃石墓出土之銅鈁所飾蟠夔紋,見胡譯文撰,《君子之器—陝西藍田呂氏家族墓出土仿古敦研究》,載於《藝術學研究》,2020年05期,頁75,圖11下。亦可參考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。此類蟠夔紋一直流行至元代,如海鹽鎮海塔地宮出土元代銅貫耳壺,其腹部主體紋飾亦是此類蟠夔紋,見李林撰,《海鹽鎮海塔及出土文物》,載於《東方博物》,2009年12月,頁37,圖37;亦可參考英國維多利亞及亞伯特博物館藏兩件十二至十四世紀銅壺腰身所飾蟠夔紋,見蘇玫瑰,《Later Chinese Bronzes》,倫敦,1990年,頁46,圖35,36。此類紋飾還見於意大利熱那亞國立愛德華多·基歐索尼東方藝術博物館所藏三件元代銅壺,俱飾類似饕餮紋及蟠夔紋,見《Food for the Ancestors Flowers for the Gods》,熱那亞,2017年,頁130,131及136,圖版7.3,7.4及7.10。

此器所飾菱形雲雷紋,據學者研究,有紀年的出土實物,最早為温州南宋淳熙五年(1178 年)墓葬出土的鼎式爐,可以認為是菱形雲雷紋雛形,最晚則為1324年新安沉船出土器物,相關討論參見王牧撰《中國南方地區宋元時期的仿古青銅器》,載於《南方文物》 2011 年第 3 期, 頁147-148。

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