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A Rare Archaic Bronze Jar, Lei/Ling
A Rare Archaic Bronze Jar, Lei/Ling


A Rare Archaic Bronze Jar, Lei/Ling
Early Spring and Autumn Period, 7th/8th Century B.C.
Cast in flat relief with four bands of conjoined S-shaped dragons with a raised boss for the eye of the upper dragon heads and for the interstice where the bodies join, with a narrow band of dragon scroll below the neck, the pair of loop handles surmounted by horned masks, with olive-grey patina
13in. (34.3cm.) across
Dr. and Mrs. P.H. Plesch Collections, Br 31A

Lot Essay

A lei of very similar shape and with identical decoration, but without handles, is illustrated by J. Rawson in the catalogue, The Bella and P.P. Chiu Collection of Ancient Chinese Bronzes, p. 86, no. 32.

Compare, also, the fou of this type illustrated by J. So, Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 1995, vol. III, pp. 206-209, no. 31, which is decorated with variant dragon bands which also have flat-cast S-shaped dragons with a head at each end and raised bosses for the eyes and body junction. The dragons, however, are stylistically a bit different, as are those on a lei and two fou from the Worcester Art Museum, Shangdong Ju Xian Tianjingwang and the Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, respectively, figs. 31.1, 31.2 and 31.3. The dragons on the Shangdong Ju Xian Tianjingwang example, which is dated to the early 7th century B.C., are the most similar to those on the present jar, although the shape is more rounded and squat and the width of the bands is more varied.

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