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

LOT 35
A LARGE AND RARE BRONZE HEXAGONAL ARROW VASE, TOUHU
Yuan/Ming Dynasty
29 mai 2022, 14 h 00 UTC+8
Hong Kong, Admiralty

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A LARGE AND RARE BRONZE HEXAGONAL ARROW VASE, TOUHU

Yuan/Ming Dynasty
The compressed hexagonal body cast with auspicious beasts in rocky landscapes in relief, each corner with a flange, the shoulders cast with six flowers in high relief, the long slender neck flanked by two lug handles, the mid-section of the neck with a chi-dragon between the lug handles and lower neck similarly decorated with archaistic taotie masks reserved on a leiwen ground, all raised on a similarly decorated spreading foot. 53.6cm (21 1/8in) high, 7kg.

Footnotes

元/明 銅六方貫耳獸紋投壺

Provenance:
Michael Goedhuis, London, 19 December 1989
The Brian Harkins Collection

來源:
倫敦Michael Goedhuis藝廊,1989年12月19日
布萊恩·哈金斯珍藏

The animals cast on the body might be identified as tianma (single-horned heavenly horse), tianlu (single-horned heavenly deer), xiniu (rhinoceros), qilin, lion and tiger.

The decoration on the present vase relates to the Yuan dynasty style, notably with the six raised flowers on the shoulders. The flowers may be identified as plum blossom which was was popular during the Yuan dynasty; see a related discussion by M.Wang, Zhongguo Nanfang Diqu Song Yuan Shiqi De Fanggu Qingtongqi (Archaistic bronze of Yuan and Song Dynasties in Southern China), in the Cultural Relics in Southern China, March 2011, pp.143-155.

Compare with a related bronze tripod incense burner in the Zhejiang Museum, decorated with raised plum blossoms on a leiwen ground, illustrated in ibid., p.148, fig.23-2. The plum blossom pattern was also a popular motif on Longquan celadon wares during the Yuan and early Ming dynasties, and often was applied on the shoulders of vessels. Compare a Longquan celadon incised arrow vase with six crisply-moulded five-petaled plum blossoms in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Green-Longquan Celadon of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 2009, no.105. For the hexagonal diaper ground, an related design of Yuan and early Ming dynasty, please refer to the footnote of Lot29.

Compare a related vase of hexagonal form but plain design, dated as 16th century, in Musée Cernuschi, Paris, illustrated by M.Maucuer, Bronzes de la Chine impériale des Song aux Qing, Paris, 2013, p.150, no.102.

方口,左右鑄六方貫耳,壺口及貫耳飾饕餮紋,壺頸分兩段,上段前後各鑄螭龍一尾,螭龍尾分兩叉,下部是饕餮紋,緩平肩,上分六格,以龜背紋為地,每個正中分鑄立體五瓣花卉一朵,壺身六面,每面出短棱,每面鑄高浮雕獸紋,可辨者有獅、虎、麒麟、犀牛、天馬、天祿之屬,圈足束腰外撇,每面飾方格饕餮紋。

此壺裝飾有元代風格,典型者有肩部所飾六朵立體花卉紋,有學者考證為梅花,且流行於元代,相關討論見王牧撰《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143-155。可參考一件浙江博物館收藏之銅索耳三足爐,以雷紋為地,上飾立體梅花紋,見前文,頁148,圖23-2。元明龍泉窯作品亦常見此梅花裝飾,且主要出現於肩部,比如台北故宮藏一件明早期龍泉窯劃花投壺,其肩部貼飾六朵五瓣,見《碧綠—明代龍泉窯青瓷》,台北,2009年,編號105。龜背紋則可參考拍品29腳註。

亦可参考巴黎賽奴奇亞洲博物館藏一件明代六方銅投壺,見M.Maucuer著,《Bronzes de la Chine Impérialedes Song aux Qing》,巴黎,2013年,頁150,圖版102。

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