A RARE BRONZE BIRD-FORM POLE FINIAL

WESTERN HAN DYNASTY

Details
A RARE BRONZE BIRD-FORM POLE FINIAL
Western Han Dynasty
Cast naturalistically as a long-beaked bird seated atop a tall, slender cylinder, with tail feathers raised, the body and wings lightly incised with feather markings, the neck with a simple collar, the dark bronze with light malachite encrustation
5¼in. (13.3cm.) high, stand
Provenance
Frederick Meyer, New York, Sold Christie's, London, June 25, 1974, lot 201
Eskenazi, London

Lot Essay

For another bird finial of slightly larger size, but with tail feathers positioned horizontally and with a less hooked beak, see the example included in the exhibition, Arts of Ancient China, J J Lally & Co., New York, May - June, 1990, Catalogue, no. 8, where the author notes, "In the Han dynasty it was the custom for men who achieved seventy years of age to be granted a royal staff (wang chang) decorated with a finial in the form of a dove. The man who displayed a dove-form finial on his walking staff was then afforded great respect and was entitled to special privileges in deference to his age"

For other examples see Jessica Rawson and Emma Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1990, Catalogue, no. 82; Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 1, London, 1994, p. 48, fig. 13; and C. T. Loo & Co., Exhibition of Chinese Arts, November, 1941 - April, 1942, Catalogue, no. 150
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