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179

PROPERTY FROM THE JUNKUNC COLLECTION

A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL (YOU) LATE SHANG DYNASTY
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 100,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
179

PROPERTY FROM THE JUNKUNC COLLECTION

A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL (YOU) LATE SHANG DYNASTY
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 100,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
New York

A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL (YOU) LATE SHANG DYNASTY
the elongated pear-shaped body raised on a tall hollow foot cast with a leiwen band, the neck of oval section, decorated with a pair of taotie masks on leiwen ground, each mask divided by a narrow flange in the center, the tall swing handle decorated with a diamond pattern terminating in serpent heads, cast below the handle on each side with an inscription reading wei ('surround'), the surface with areas of malachite encrustation
Height 13 1/8  in., 33.3 cm
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Provenance

Acquired in New York, 6th April 1967.
Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978). 

Catalogue Note

The present you is notable for its fine casting which creates an elegant silhouette. The exquisite workmanship is further revealed by the intricately cast design of the handle ending in snake-like heads, which deliberately draws attention to the elegant curves of the slender vessel. The minimalist surface decoration and graceful form of this piece are typical of the early stage of the bronze development in Anyang during the Shang dynasty (c.1570 - c.1046 BC). Bronze you, which were used as wine containers at ancestral rituals, emerged as one of the major ceremonial receptacles in the late Shang dynasty and remained prominent until the mid-Western Zhou dynasty.  

Compare a closely related you with a cover, excavated in 1950 from a tomb in Wuguancun, Anyang, Henan Province, and now in the National Museum of China, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Daquan [The Quintessence of Chinese Cultural Relics], Qingtong Juan [Bronzes], Hong Kong, 1994, pl. 109. See further examples of this form, such as a slightly larger example, cast with a narrower band of leiwen spirals and a taotie mask around the neck, from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection and now in The Art Museum, Princeton University, New Jersey, illustrated in Robert W. Bagley, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Washington D.C., 1987, pl. 61; one featuring a more elaborately decorated handle, formerly from the collection of Hans-Jürgen von Lowchow, included in the exhibition Frühe Chinesische Bronzen aus der Sammlung Klingenberg, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne, 1993, cat. no. 9; and another in the Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo, published in Ancient Chinese Arts in The Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1989, pl. 64.

The pictogram on this vessel, wei, may be translated as ‘surround’ and is found on three archaic bronze gu, published in Shang zhou qing tong qi ming wen ji tu xiang ji cheng. 17. Jiuqi. Gu jiao jue. Shanghai, 2012, pls 08986, 08987 and 08989, the first from the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin, the second sold in our London rooms, 13th December 1977, lot 210, and the third in the Palace Museum, Beijing, respectively.

Important Chinese Art

|
New York