18 March 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Center
Price realised USD 10,625
Estimate USD 8,000 - USD 12,000
TWO BRONZE SOCKETED ADZE, BEN
SHANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 1600-1100 BC
One of rectangular section, the other of trapezoidal section, and both hollow the entire length including the faceted blade which tapers to a solid curved cutting edge, each cast in thread relief with a broad taotie band within bow-string borders below a narrow taotie band at the opening, one with eyes cast in relief and with a partial mask on the narrow sides of the broad band, with dark grey patina and milky-green and azurite encrustation
8 9/16 and 8 1/16 in. (21.9 and 20.5 cm.) long (2)
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Other bronze adze of this type and date are illustrated by B. Karlgren, "Some Weapons and Tools of the Yin Dynasty", BMFEA, No. 17, Stockholm, 1945, pl., nos. 23-7.
J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1972.
R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, pp. 74-5, figs. 32 and 34.