A BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, POU
A BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, POU
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A BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, POU

LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 13TH-12TH CENTURY BC

Details
A BRONZE RITUAL WINE VESSEL, POU
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 13TH-12TH CENTURY BC
The bulbous body is flat cast around the sides with a wide frieze of three large taotie masks formed by pairs of dragons with large eyes, scroll-filled bodies and raised tails confronted on a narrow flange, each mask bordered by slender descending dragons, below a band of nine dragons with rounded eyes, hooked beaks and coiled tails, all facing in the same direction, on the sloping shoulder below three bowstring bands that rise to the everted rim, the whole raised on a high, slightly flared foot encircled by a narrow band formed by three panels of scrolls below three apertures. The vessel has allover light malachite encrustation and some areas of brownish-grey patina.
13 in. (33 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Private collection, Japan.
Sotheby's London, 14 November 2001, lot 4.
J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 2004.
The collection of Daniel Shapiro, New York.
Literature
D. Shapiro, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, A Personal Appreciation, London, 2013, pp. 92-95 and 137.
J. J. Lally & Co., Chinese Archaic Bronzes: The Collection of Daniel Shapiro, New York, 2014, no. 11.
Exhibited
New York, J. J. Lally & Co., Chinese Archaic Bronzes: The Collection of Daniel Shapiro, 14 March- 5 April 2014, no. 11.

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Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪)
Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪) Senior Specialist, VP, Head of Private Sales New York

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Lot Essay


Pou, globular jars raised on a high foot, first appeared in bronze during the late Erligang period (1400-1300 BC) and continued to be made throughout the Shang dynasty.

The present vessel is similar both in form and decoration to one in the Qing Court Collection illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bronze Ritual Vessels and Musical Instruments, Beijing, 2007, p. 123, no. 80. Another similar pou, excavated at Xiejiagou, Qingjian county, Shaanxi province, and now in the Suide County Museum, is illustrated in Shaanxi chutu Shang Zhou qingtongqi, Vol. I, Beijing, 1979, p. 71, pl. 67, and again by Li (ed.),The Shaanxi Bronzes, Xi'an, 1994, p. 227, no. 187, where it is dated to the mid-Shang period. See, also, the similar pou illustrated by Wang Tao, Chinese Bronzes from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 2009, pp. 124-125, no. 56. On this latter pou, the eyes of the nine dragons that form the band on the shoulder are smaller, as are the eyes of the taotie masks.

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