Outstanding for its remarkably preserved crisp decoration of crested birds over a leiwen ground, which complements the elegant pear-shape body, this you is characteristic of vessels made in the early Western Zhou dynasty, as seen in its slightly compressed form and the projecting triangles on the cover. Bronze you are sacrificial wine vessels that emerged as one of the major ritual receptacles in the late Shang dynasty and remained prominent until the middle Western Zhou dynasty.
Similar you include one illustrated by Jessica Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. 2B, Washington D.C., 1990, pls 72 and 74 and fig. 114.4; another in the Sumitomo Collection, published in Sen-oku Hakko Kan. Sumitomo Collection, Kyoto, 1982, pl. 23; and a third, formerly in the Luff Collection and included in William Watson, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, London, 1962, pl. 24a, sold in these rooms, 7th December 1983, lot 52. See also a related example of rounder form, illustrated in Bronzes in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1999. pl. 171.
Further related you include one published in Jessica Rawson, The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, London, 1992, pl. 40; another, illustrated in Sueji Umehara, Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Japan, vol. 1, Osaka, 1959, pl. 75; one in the Art Institute of Chicago, illustrated in Charles Fabens Kelley and Chen Meng-Chia, Chinese Bronzes from the Buckingham Collection, Chicago, 1946, pl. XXVII, and a fourth in the Idemitsu Museum, illustrated in Ancient Chinese Arts in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1989, pl. 69.
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