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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 228

    A RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID BRONZE SHAFT-RING AXE

    EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 11TH-10TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE TURQUOISE-INLAID BRONZE SHAFT-RING AXE
    EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 11TH-10TH CENTURY BC
    The broad blade with slightly curved edges flaring at the rounded cutting edge, both sides cast in shallow relief with three horizontal ribs pierced with three holes with raised rims, the shaft ring of lenticular section with a single rib and the flared tang inlaid with turquoise tesserae on one side with a horse with bent foreleg and on the reverse with an angular scroll motif, the center rib on one side with a single graph, with brownish-grey patina and pale green encrustation
    7½ in. (19.2 cm.) long


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    The single graph cast into the center rib on one side may be a clan sign.

    Max Loehr illustrates a line drawing of what he refers to as a shaft-ring axe from the Sawyer Collection in Chinese Bronze Age Weapons, University of Michigan, 1956, p. 13, fig. 14 A, which is similar in shape to the present example. It also looks to have a design on the tang that most likely would have been inlaid. He dates these types of axes as Shang-Zhou.

    Provenance

    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1965 or earlier.


    Exhibited

    Columbia University, New York, February 1965.