• Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5812

    Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Textiles

    6 November 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 191

    A BRONZE COOKING VESSEL, HAN DYNASTY (206BC-220AD)

    Price Realised  

    A BRONZE COOKING VESSEL, HAN DYNASTY (206BC-220AD)
    comprising one part of a gilt bronze steamer, Xian, the lower body of rounded form leading to a straight side with flattened horizontal ledge, the upper body gilded and with twin loose-ring taotie formed handles, the rim covered with a regularly pierced cover -- the Xian, 11in. (28cm.) wide.


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    Steamers have a long history in ancient China with evidence of tripod steamers being cast as one piece during the Shang period. Such vessels were to be used for sacrificial meals, though over time these steamers lost their religious connotations. Similarly the taotie mask handles were a representation of great auspicious power during the Shang period, however after the end of Zhou, their meaning was reduced to a decorative motif for handles. For a similar Xian steamer see Bluett and Sons, Ancient Chinese Inlaid Bronzes, 1989, p.17. pl.1.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Plesch collection; acquired in 2002 from a private UK collection formed prior to 1997 (Bh 30hl).