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    Sale 2269

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Jades from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

    19 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 526

    A LARGE BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, HU

    LATE WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 8TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, HU
    LATE WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 8TH CENTURY BC
    Of rounded rectangular section and raised on a conforming pedestal foot, the sides divided into quadrants by strapwork cast in high relief with a diamond at the interstices, each quadrant enclosing an eye surrounded by relief ribbons, with a narrow band of scrolls centered by an eye on the neck which is set with a pair of loop handles cast with bovine mask with horns above small ears, with the upright neck and head of a bird issuing from its snout, with mottled green patina
    16 3/8 in. (41.6 cm.) high


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    See J. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. IIB, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990, p. 608-10, for a discussion of a Middle Western Zhou hu of almost identical size (41.4 cm.), exhibiting the same raised bands separating the body of the vessel into quarters, which the author notes are intended to simulate leather strapwork.

    Also compare a pair of larger (55 cm.) hu and covers from the Morse Collection, included in the exhibition Spirit and Ritual, 1 July-5 September 1982, nos. 20-1, where they are dated to the late Western Zhou period (9th-8th century BC). The Morse hu have very similar zoomorphic decoration seen on both the neck and quadrants of the body of the present hu, and share in common similar animal-head handles, although the Morse examples suspend loose rings.

    A fourth hu, also with closely related decoration, although of a smaller size (40.6 cm.), dated to the early Spring and Autumn period, was excavated in Xintai, Shandong province in the Guangxu period (1875-1908), and is now in the collection of the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo Qingtonqi Quanji - Dong Zhou (3), Beijing, 1997, p. 86, no. 83.

    Provenance

    Acquired prior to 1970.