View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3. An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th – 10th century BC | 西周早期公元前十一至十世紀 青銅伯弘簋.
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An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th – 10th century BC | 西周早期公元前十一至十世紀 青銅伯弘簋

Property of a Lady 女史珍藏

An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th – 10th century BC | 西周早期公元前十一至十世紀 青銅伯弘簋

An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th – 10th century BC | 西周早期公元前十一至十世紀 青銅伯弘簋

Property of a Lady

An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui

Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th – 10th century BC

女史珍藏

西周早期公元前十一至十世紀 青銅伯弘簋


cast with a deep 'U'-shaped body, the sides decorated with large taotie masks bisected by a vertical flange and flanked by a pair of loop handles surmounted by bovine heads and ending in hooked tabs, all supported on a tall pedestal foot decorated with a band of confronting sinewy dragons, the raised decoration all reserved against a leiwen ground, the smooth surfaces with attractive green and dark red patina, the interior cast with a five-character inscription reading Bo Gong zuo bao gui (Bo Gong had this precious vessel made), rubbing by Wu Libo

銘文:伯弘作寶簋

連吳立波製拓本

h. 14 cm

The x-ray images reveal the vessel is in good condition, with just two typical natural minor cracks under the encrustation on the thin area of the base.


經X光檢驗可知整體品相良好,惟底部較薄處銅鏽下有兩道細微裂紋,屬典型。


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

J.J. Lally & Co., New York.

Sotheby's New York, 20th March 2012, lot 17.


藍理捷,紐約

紐約蘇富比2012年3月20日,編號17

This bronze vessel is remarkable for its bold design of taotie masks with outsized, elaborately curled horns against an intricate leiwen (‘thunder pattern’) background, as well as for the lively dragon figures depicted around the foot. Such zoomorphic masks, spreading across both sides of the body, represent arguably the most prominent decorative motif on ritual bronzes of various forms from the Shang (c. 1600-1046 BC) and early Western Zhou (c. 1046-771 BC) dynasties, but are usually less flamboyant in style. Bisecting each mask is a vertical flange, a feature that gained popularity around the late Shang period. After taking over Shang territories, the Western Zhou inherited their predecessors’ tradition and culture, including the production of ceremonial bronzes in Shang style. Used during ritual ceremonies throughout the Shang and Zhou (c. 1046-256 BC) periods, gui were vessels for offerings of grain.


Compare three smaller gui from the early Western Zhou dynasty, with their masks composed of simpler elements, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; the first two without a leiwen ground on the body and hooks on the tabs of the handles, illustrated in Catalogue to the Special Exhibition of Grain Vessels from the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1985, cat. no. 35, and Shang Ritual Bronzes in the National Palace Museum Collection, Taipei, 1998, pl. 100 respectively; the third one, with an additional small mythical-beast head on top of each taotie mask (accession no. Zhong tong 001878 [http://antiquities.npm.gov.tw/Utensils_Page.aspx?ItemId=11557]), illustrated in Catalogue of Western Chou Bronze Inscription in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2001. See also two related gui from the Shang dynasty, in the Palace Museum, Beijing (accession nos Gu 00076921 [https://digicol.dpm.org.cn/cultural/detail?id=b2b859c7d4064e5eb5cfe827f09506be] and Gu 00076922 [https://digicol.dpm.org.cn/cultural/detail?id=a1c30b38a3784741b49224a2aecba991]).