598
598

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE FAMILY COLLECTION

AN ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL (LIDING)
LATE SHANG DYNASTY
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 112,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
598

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE FAMILY COLLECTION

AN ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL (LIDING)
LATE SHANG DYNASTY
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 112,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
New York

AN ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL (LIDING)
LATE SHANG DYNASTY
the deep lobed bowl rising from three tall cylindrical legs to an everted rim, set to the top with a pair of upright loop handles, finely cast to the exterior with three intricate taotie masks with protruding eyes and horns divided by flanges against a dense leiwen ground, all below a band of cicada motifs, the surface with mottled malachite and azurite encrustation, the interior with a pictogram below the rim, Japanese wood box (2)
Height 8 in., 20.2 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Christie’s London, 5th June 1973, lot 251.
Sotheby’s London, 1st-2nd April 1974, lot 69.
Sotheby’s London, 25th March 1975, lot 151.
Hirano Kotoken.

Exhibited

Kyoto National Museum, 1970s until 2016 (on loan).

Catalogue Note

Outstanding for its well-preserved crisp decoration, this liding is a fine example of the final stage of bronze development in Anyang, which is characterized by the high-relief motifs against dense ground patterns and attractive rounded forms. The most refined examples, such as the present piece, feature intaglio designs on the taotie masks over a ground interspersed with leiwen spirals. Vessels of this form are a combination of the classic semi-spherical ding and the lobed li and were made from the later Erligang period through the Shang and Western Zhou dynasty.

A liding with a very similar taotie mask, from the collection of J. Eguchi, is illustrated in Sueji Umehara, Nihon shūcho Shina kodō seikwa/ Selected Relics of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from Collections in Japan, vol. III, Osaka, 1961, pl. CLXXXIII; one, also decorated on the legs, in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in William Watson, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, London, 1986, pl. 14a; another from the collection of David David-Weill, illustrated in Alexander C. Soper, A Case of Meaningful Magic, Washington D.C., 1990, pl. 7, was sold in our Paris rooms, 16th December 2015, lot 21; a fourth was published in Bernhard Karlgren, “New Studies on Chinese Bronzes”, The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, 1937, pl. X, no. 248; and a slightly smaller example was sold at Christie’s New York, 23rd March 1995, lot 326. Compare also a liding with a large mask, but with parallel lines on the horns instead of spirals, in the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln, illustrated in Christian Deydier, Les Bronzes Archaïques Chinois/ Archaic Chinese Bronzes, Paris, 1995, vol. 1, p. 257, pl. 3.

The two pictograms on this piece, which appears to depict a bird near a stream, are also found on a liding of similar proportions, from the collection of Sir Herbert Ingram now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, illustrated on the Museum’s website, accession n. EA1956.3516.

Important Chinese Art

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New York