More than a Game / A BRONZE HEXAGONAL 'BUDDHIST LIONS' 'ARROW' VASE, TOUHU Ming Dynasty
Sold for HK$102,000 inc. premium
A BRONZE HEXAGONAL 'BUDDHIST LIONS' 'ARROW' VASE, TOUHU
The compressed globular body cast with a hexagonal mid-section decorated with panels of auspicious beasts galloping over rockwork landscape divided by projecting flanges, the tall slender neck flanked by two lug handles incised with stylised taotie, masks above two high-relief lions playing with brocade balls opening their mouths as an additional hollow target for the arrows, the brocaded balls resting on the shoulder decorated with archaistic acanthus-leaf patterns, all raised on a hexagonal tiered foot supporting a waisted flaring section cast with archaistic designs. 45.6cm (18in) high, 8.1kg.
Christie's South Kensington, London, 15 September 2005
The Brian Harkins Collection
The present vase is ingeniously cast with four arrow holes in the form of lions and balls. The animals crisply cast on the body can be identified as lion, tiger, rabbit, deer, goat and qilin.
Compare with a bronze 'animal' arrow vase, Ming dynasty, in the Hunan Provincial Museum, with the similar composition of animals leaping between two tall mountains, illustrated in Exhibition of the Collections of Hunan Provincial Museum, Beijing, 2012, pp.210-211.