Shang: Early Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Daniel Shapiro Collection, features exceptional examples from China's formative Shang bronze culture from a renowned American collection formed over a span of twenty-five years. These sophisticated pieces provide a glimpse into the spiritual world and mysterious rituals of China's ancient culture and are among the world's most extraordinary works of art.
Leading the sale is The Luboshez Gong (estimate: US $4-6 million), a magnificent and highly important bronze ritual wine vessel. Dating to the 13th-12th century BC, the vessel combines a pouncing tiger with a standing owl forming a powerful, fantastic creature. Acquired by Captain S.N. Ferris Luboshez prior to 1949, few similar examples are known, one of which is in the Harvard Art Museums. Also of special interest is a rare ritual wine vessel with cover, fangyi, formerly in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Rafi Mottahedeh. The fangyi, a distinctive rectangular shape with elegantly tapered sides and a delicately rounded lid, is boldly decorated with striking taotie masks, flanked by a pair of long-tailed birds and confronting dragons divided by subtle flanges.