A BRONZE WINE VESSEL (GU) LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 12TH-11TH CENTURY BC
Collection of H.E. Alexandre J. Argyropoulos.
J.J. Lally & Co., New York.
The single pictogram inside the foot depicts a curved rectangular axe head attached to a shaft and set on a tripod base; it may be translated as li dao, a clan name known from a number of other bronzes.
A closely related gu from the Sackler Collection in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Washington D.C., is discussed and illustrated in Robert W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, Washington, D.C., 1987, p. 255, no. 38; another similar gu vessel, unearthed in 2001 from Huayuanzhuang village, Anyang city, Henan province is illustrated in Yinxu xinchutu qingtongqi (Ritual bronzes recently excavated in Yinxu), Kunming, 2008, p. 152, no. 62.
The T.Y. King antique shop was founded by Jin Caibao in Shanghai in the early Republican period. With more than thirty years of continuing success, T.Y. King was one of the largest antique shops in Shanghai. The shop specialized in stone sculptures, archaic bronzes, sancai pottery wares and premier Song and Yuan wares. In 1949, the King family moved to Hong Kong and continued its antique business there.