18 March 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Center
Price realised USD 16,250
Estimate USD 6,000 - USD 8,000
TWO UNUSUAL BRONZE AXES
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 12TH-11TH CENTURY BC
Both with a thin, broad blade with slightly curved sides flaring towards the curved cutting edge, with narrow slits at the corners and with a hafting hole in the nei, each blade cast on both sides in intaglio with a decorative panel surrounding a central hole, the panel on the smaller axe depicting two confronted serpent-like dragons reserved on a leiwen ground, the end of the nei cast on one side with a rhinoceros and the reverse with an angular bird-like pattern, the decorative panel on the larger axe with addorsed taotie masks with black inlay, the end of the nei cast with a whorl motif flanked by hooked angular scrolls
7 1/16 and 7 7/8 in. (18 and 20 cm.) long (2)
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Hong Kong +852 2760 1766
Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766
Smaller axe: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, prior to 1978.
Larger axe: acquired prior to 1965.
Larger axe: Columbia University, New York, February 1965.
Specialist Tristan Bruck advises on how to identify valuable pieces in different styles and materials from across Asia
Interior designer Alidad on a set of Chinese porcelain pieces that he finds reassuringly welcoming