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    Sale 2027

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 364

    A BRONZE RITUAL POURING VESSEL, YI

    WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 9TH-8TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    A BRONZE RITUAL POURING VESSEL, YI
    WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 9TH-8TH CENTURY BC
    Raised on four flat legs ending in claws, the forelegs cast at the top with dragon masks while the back forelegs are cast at the top as haunches, as if the four legs together represent a complete animal, the side horizontally ribbed below a band of scales flat-cast below the rim, with a loop handle formed by the arched body of a dragon biting the rim in its jaws, with a 16-character inscription cast in the base of the interior, with silvery grey patina and pale green and azurite encrustation
    13 in. (33 cm.) long, box


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    The 16-character inscription cast on the interior of this vessel may be translated, "Shu X Fu made this precious yi for Shi Ji , may his sons and grandsons for ten thousand years always treasure and use it". A rubbing of an identical inscription in a bronze yi is illustrated by Luo Zhenyu in Sandai jijin wencun, juan 17, p. 33.1.

    A very similar yi cast on the interior with a lengthy inscription, but with slightly more prominent legs, was unearthed in 1974 in Erxi, Shangguo village, Shaanxi province, and is illustrated in Zhongguo Qingtongqi Quanji - Xi Zhou, vol. 6, no. 2, Beijing, 1997, no. 63. Two other similar yi with cast inscriptions on the interior in the Shanghai Museum are illustrated in Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels from the Li Yingshuan Collection, The Shanghai Museum, 1996, p. 20, nos. 26 and 27, the latter of which is recorded as having been unearthed near Mount Tai in Shandong.

    Provenance

    Acquired from a private collection in Japan in the 1930s.