View full screen - View 1 of Lot 81. A rare inscribed archaic bronze food vessel, gui Western Zhou dynasty | 西周 青銅簋.
81

A rare inscribed archaic bronze food vessel, gui Western Zhou dynasty | 西周 青銅簋

Property from a European private collection | 歐洲私人收藏

A rare inscribed archaic bronze food vessel, gui Western Zhou dynasty | 西周 青銅簋

A rare inscribed archaic bronze food vessel, gui Western Zhou dynasty | 西周 青銅簋

Property from a European private collection

A rare inscribed archaic bronze food vessel, gui

Western Zhou dynasty


with a rounded body, everted rim and animal-head handles, decorated around the exterior with confronted birds with long curly tails raised against a leiwen ground, the interior inscribed Cong ci jin yu gong yong zuo bao yi

H. 15 cm, 5 7/8 in. ; L. 28.5 cm, 11 1/4 in

__________________________________________________________________________


Collection particulière européenne

Récipient à nourriture en bronze archaïque, gui, dynastie des Zhou occidentaux

__________________________________________________________________________



歐洲私人收藏

西周 青銅簋

The vessel is generally in good condition, with expected malachite and cuprite encrustations as visible on the catalogue photos. The cast details are still rather crisp. There are some expected small dents to the mouth rim and occasionally to the side of the body together with some scratches. The vessel has not been inspected under X-rays.  


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

Galerie 41, Monaco, 18th August 2008. 

__________________________________________________________________________


Galerie 41,摩納哥,2008年8月18日

Vividly decorated with confronted birds with long curly tails raised against a leiwen ground, this gui is characteristic of bronze casting in the Western Zhou period (c.1046-771 BC). The shape of this vessel, with its rounded body, everted rim and animal-head handles, also represents one the most popular forms of the time. A similar vessel but of smaller size was excavated in 1957 from Zhaoyuanpo, Chang’an, Shaanxi province, now in the National Museum of China, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo qingtongqi quanji / A Complete Collection of Chinese Ancient Bronzes, vol. 5, Western Zhou 1, Beijing, 1996, pl. 61. Gui were used to hold cooked rice or millet in ritual ceremonies.


This vessel bears a nine-character inscription, Cong ci jin yu gong yong zuo bao yi, which can be translated as ‘Cong made this precious vessel from the bronze material gifted by his master’. A smaller bronze vessel gui cast with the same inscription, albeit raised on a square pedestal and adorned with different ornaments, attributed to the early Western Zhou period, is recorded and illustrated in Selected Bronzes in the Collection of the Poly Art Museum, Beijing, 1999, pp. 63-4.


Very little is known about the owner of this bronze, Cong. Based on the form and design of the present gui, Cong should have been active some time between the early to middle Western Zhou dynasty. A small group of bronze gui of a related form and design have been discussed by Wang Shimin et al. in their book Xizhou qingtongqi fenqi duandai yanjiu / A Study of the Periodization and Dating of Western Zhou Bronzes, Beijing, 1999. One, the Yu Zheng Wei gui from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, has been attributed by the authors to the period of King Kang (c. 1040 BC-c. 996 BC) (p. 62, no. 18); another gui, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is attributed to the first phrase of the middle Western Zhou period (p. 62, no. 20); and a third example in the National Museum of China, Beijing, is attributed to the middle Western Zhou period (p. 65, no. 21). Wu Zhenfeng suggests that Cong was active during the first phrase of the early Western Zhou period (see Wu Zhenfeng, Jinwen renming huibian [Compilation of the names from bronze inscriptions], Beijing, 2006, p. 58).


Two other ‘Cong’ vessels are recorded, which may relate to the present gui, both of which are preserved in the Shanghai Museum. The first, a bronze ding bearing a twelve-character inscription, attributed to the early or middle Western Zhou dynasty, is published in The Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Yin Zhou jinwen jicheng [Compendium of Yin and Zhou bronze inscriptions], Beijing, 1984, no. 02461; and the second, an early Western Zhou dynasty gui cast with five characters to the interior, is illustrated in Chen Peifen, Xia Shang Zhou qingtongqi yanjiu [Study of archaic bronzes from Shang, Shang and Zhou dynasties], Shanghai, Western Zhou, vol. 1, 2004, pl. 227.

__________________________________________________________________________


本青銅簋屬西周典型,雷紋地上飾長尾鳥紋,鼓腹、侈口、獸首耳。比較一例,1957年陝西長安兆元坡出土,現存於北京中國歷史博物館, 載於《中國青銅器全集》,卷5,西周1,北京,1996年,圖版 61。簋,盛飯器具,常用於祭祀。


本簋帶九字銘文:「從易金于公 用乍寳彝」。保利博物館收藏一例,尺寸較小,銘文與本簋相同,連方座,紋飾與本簋相異,斷代西周早期,圖載《保利藏金》,北京,1999年,頁63-4


作此簋者,名从,後人對其所知不詳。根據本簋器型及紋飾,可推測其乃活躍於西周早至中期。比較一組少數銅簋,器型與紋飾與本品相近,參考王世民,《西周青銅器分期斷代研究》,北京,1999年。台北故宮博物院收藏一例,斷代周康王(公元前約1040至公元前996年)(頁62,編號18);另一例現藏於北京故宮博物院,斷代西周中期第一時期(頁62,編號20);第三例現藏於北京中國歷史博物館,斷代西周中期(頁65,編號21)。學者吳鎮烽論述,从應為活躍於西周早期第一期,參考吳鎮烽,《金文人名匯編》,北京,2006年,頁58。


另比兩例,銘文亦提及作簋者「从」,或與本品相關。其一為青銅鼎,銘文十二字,斷代西周早或中期,載於中國社會科學院考古研究所,《殷周金文集成》,北京,1984年,編號02461;另一例為青銅簋,斷代西周早期,内壁銘五字,載於陳佩芬,《夏商周青銅器研究》,上海,西周卷(1),2004年,圖版227。