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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 202

    A SMALL BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, HU

    SHANG DYNASTY, 12TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SMALL BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, HU
    SHANG DYNASTY, 12TH CENTURY BC
    The pear-shaped body raised on a spreading pedestal foot cast on each side with a taotie mask formed by two dragons or animals confronted on a narrow flange, and with a small hole on the narrow sides, the upper body flat-cast with a broad band of two taotie masks centered by a narrow flange and reserved on a leiwen ground below a scroll border, with a pair of lug handles tapering to a vertical edge and cast with taotie masks, with a single graph cast on the base of the interior, with mottled green patina retaining some impressions of woven matting
    9 3/8 in. (23.9 cm.) high


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    The shape of this hu, the broad band of decoration divided by narrow flanges and the lug handles flat-cast with dragon masks are comparable to two hu illustrated by B. Karlgren, "Some Characteristics of the Yin Art", BMFEA, no. 34, Stockholm, 1962, pl. 53 a and b. Both of these also appear to be of small size. The first hu is in the Malmö Musuem and has a narrow scroll band above the main decorative band, similar to that of the present vessel, while the main decorative band on the second hu in the collection of the Academia Sinica, appears to be as broad as that of the Sackler vessel.

    Provenance

    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1960.


    Literature

    N. Barnard and Cheung Kwong-yue, Rubbings and Hand Copies of Bronze Inscriptions in Chinese, Japanese, European, American and Australasian Collections, Taipei, 1978, no. 1782 (inscription only).
    R. Poor, Bronze Ritual Vessels of Ancient China, New York, 1968.
    R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, pp. 346-7, no. 59.