More than a Game / A VERY RARE BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU 12th-13th century
Sold for HK$82,875 inc. premium
A VERY RARE BRONZE ARROW VASE, TOUHU
The compressed globular body cast with three mythical beast-masks each suspending a loose ring handle, alternating with finely cast mythical beast masks all reserved on a leiwen ground, the shoulders cast in relief with a band of lotus petals and a beaded border of the Eight Trigrams encircled by a classic-scroll, surmounted by tall neck divided into four main sections by bands and flanked by a pair of high-relief chilong clambering upwards, the mid-section decorated with archaistic kui dragons between various diaper grounds, the top section with a taotie mask on each side, flanked by a pair of lug handles cast with diaper-patterns below a classic-scroll, all raised on a spreading foot cast with a border of crashing waves. 40.4cm (15 7/8in) high, 5.3kg.
The Brian Harkins Collection
The archaistic kui dragon scrolls and the diaper ground of the present lot are typical designs from the Southern Song to Yuan dynasty under the influence of archaism. Compare a 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.
See also closely related archaistic 'dragon' scrolls on two vases, 12th-14th century, as well as the related wave design on a bronze vase, dated by inscription to 1173, all in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated by R.Kerr, Later Chinese Bronzes, London, 1990, pp.47 and 58, nos.35, 36 and 46.