A RARE SMALL BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL, GUI
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 12TH CENTURY BC
The bombé body flat-cast with two bands of decoration, the main band comprised of four taotie masks, two centered on a notched flange on each side, the other two centered on the C-scroll handles which issue from a dragon mask and have a small tab pendent from the bottom, the narrow upper band with four pairs of dragons with oblong eyes cast in relief centered on two sides by a relief-cast animal mask and separated on the other two sides by the handles, the high, slightly flared foot with four taotie masks formed by pairs of dragons confronted on further notched flanges, all on leiwen grounds, with a two-character inscription cast in the bottom of the interior, the base cast in thread relief with a diamond pattern, the grey and mottled pale green patina with some malachite encrustation
10 in. (25.4 cm.) across handles
Frank Caro, New York, 26 August 1964.
R. Poor, Bronze Ritual Vessels of Ancient China, New York, 1968.
Chen Mengjia, Yin Zhou qingtongqi fenlei tulu (In Shu seidoki bunrui zuroku: A Corpus of Chinese Bronzes in American Collections), Tokyo, 1977, A163.
N. Barnard and Cheung Kwong-yue, Rubbings and Hand Copies of Bronze Inscriptions in Chinese, Japanese, European, American and Australasian Collections, Taipei, 1978, no. 1475 (inscription only).
R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, pp. 516-19, no. 102.
Arts of the Chou Dynasty, Stanford University Art Museum, Palo Alto, California, 21 February - 28 March 1958, no. 1.
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The inscription consists of the stem yi and a graph of uncertain meaning.