A BRONZE RITUAL TRIPOD FOOD VESSEL, LIDING
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION
A BRONZE RITUAL TRIPOD FOOD VESSEL, LIDING

LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 11TH CENTURY BC

Details
A BRONZE RITUAL TRIPOD FOOD VESSEL, LIDING
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, 11TH CENTURY BC
The tri-lobed body is raised on three slender, columnar legs, and is cast above each leg with a large taotie mask with rounded eyes flanked by a pair of descending dragons and reserved on a leiwen ground below a narrow band of leiwen. A pair of bail handles rise from the rim. The side of the interior is cast with a single character, ya. The bronze is of dark grey color.
8 ½ in. (21.6 cm.) high
Provenance
C. T. Loo & Co., New York, before 1976.
The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leo S. Bing; Christie's New York, 24 March 2004, lot 107.
Literature
Chen Mengjia, Yin Zhou qingtongqi fenlei tulu (In Shu seidoki bunrui zuroku; A Corpus of Chinese Bronzes in American Collections), Tokyo, 1977, nos. A49 (illustration) and R447 (inscription).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ancient Ritual Bronzes of China, Los Angeles, 1976, no. 16.
Zhou Fagao, Sandaijijin wencun bu (Supplements of surviving writings from the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties), Taipei, 1980, no. 447 (inscription only).
Yan Yiping, Jinwen Zongji (Corpus of Bronze Inscriptions), Taipei, 1983, no. 102 (inscription only).
The Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Yinzhou jinwen jicheng (Compendium of Yin and Zhou Bronze Inscriptions), Beijing, 1984, no. 1147 (inscription only).
Wu Zhenfeng, Shangzhou qingtongqi mingwen ji tuxiang jicheng (Compendium of Inscriptions and Images of Bronzes from the Shang and Zhou Dynasties), Shanghai, 2012, vol. 1, p. 71, no. 82.
Exhibited
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ancient Ritual Bronzes of China, 3 February-25 April 1976.

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Olivia Hamilton
Olivia Hamilton

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Lot Essay

The cruciform character ya is sometimes termed as yaxing (ya shape) and is often combined with other pictographs to represent clans. In the Shang dynasty, clans with the ya added to their clan names are believed to be those that were conferred with the title of Marquis. It is very rare to find single-character inscription of ya. See, a late Shang bronze liding cast with a single ya character in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by Chang Kuang-yuan in A Catalogue of Shang Dynasty Bronze Inscriptions, Ancient Chiense Script From the 1st Millenium B.C., Taipei, 1995, no. 15.

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