The Forging of Empires
Live Auction: 20 September 2022 • 9:00 AM EDT • New York

POWER / CONQUEST: The Forging of Empires 20 September 2022 • 9:00 AM EDT • New York

T his September, Sotheby’s New York is honored to host a landmark auction of exceptional archaic bronze ritual vessels and weapons. The sale of selected masterpieces will explore the themes of aristocracy, conflict, empire, mythology, and antiquarianism, as told by the pieces of important documentary inscriptions from the offered vessels, providing a window into a glorious and turbulent period of the illustrious history at the dawn of China's civilization.

Sale Highlights

Of Profound Love and Restless Pursuit

Tucked away for decades and unknown to the public, the following extraordinary group of archaic bronzes from the collection of Albert Y.P. Lee recounts a story of one man’s lifelong curiosity, passion and dedication to the study of China’s ancient history. Lee’s collection, exceptionally strong in its focus on epigraphy, provides a window into a glorious and turbulent period of China’s illustrious history when bronze ritual objects and their inscriptions recorded political warfare amongst clans, documented sacred rites and ceremonies, and chronicled the lives of the most exalted ancient rulers. Imbued with a sense of elegant nostalgia, the collection also serves as a personal homage to Lee’s father – the important and distinguished Li Yingshuan (1911-1972). The elder Li owned one of the finest archaic bronze collections in the world, which was donated to the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai in 1979. Read More

Important Archaic Bronzes from the Collection of Albert Y.P. and Sara K.S. Lee

Property from the Collection of Abolala Soudavar
Aristocracy | 宗族

Conflict | 兵戈

Empire | 疆土

Mythology | 神明

Antiquarianism | 金石

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