182
182
A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE DOUBLE-SIDED POLE FINIAL
LATE SHANG / EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 31,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
182
A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE DOUBLE-SIDED POLE FINIAL
LATE SHANG / EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 31,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A RARE ARCHAIC BRONZE DOUBLE-SIDED POLE FINIAL
LATE SHANG / EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY
cast to one side with a powerful taotie mask, detailed with bulging eyes and flared nostrils below large C-shaped horns, the reverse with a raised mythical beast head with flat-ended horns sweeping back over the protruding eyes and the broad nose gently curved with a central ridge, pierced to both sides with square apertures, the polished surface with areas of malachite encrustation
Height 4 1/4  in., 10.7 cm 
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, 13th November 2002, lot 36. 

Catalogue Note

This crisply cast finial belongs to a distinct group of bronze finials featuring impressive masks on both sides, used as ceremonial paraphernalia during the late Shang/early Western Zhou period. Finials of this type are notable for the contrasting styles of casting on each side: while one side shows a more naturalistic rendering of an animal mask, the other features a highly stylized taotie mask. As such, it demonstrates the diverse ornamentation of bronze objects and ceremonial practices during this time. These finials adorned chariots, which were richly decorated with painted designs and bronze fittings prior to being bestowed at investiture ceremonies.

No other closely related animal mask finials appear to have been published, although related examples of this type are known; see two, one from the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and the other from the collection of C.T. Loo, illustrated in Sueji Umehara, Shina-koda seikwa/Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Europe and America, pt. III, Miscellaneous Objects, vol. I, Osaka, 1933, pl. 26; one sold in our London rooms, 6th April 1976, lot, 12, now in the collection of the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, published in Giuseppe Eskenazi, A Dealer's Hand. The Chinese Art World through the Eyes of Giuseppe Eskenazi, London, 2012, pl. 7; and a fourth example from the collections of William van Heusden and Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Bull, included in the exhibition Arts of the Chou Dynasty, Stanford University Museum, Stanford, 1958, cat. no. 16, and illustrated in William van Heusden, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Tokyo, 1952, pl. LV, sold in these rooms, 21st March 2018, lot 581.

Important Chinese Art

|
New York