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A LARGE BRONZE JAR AND COVER, LEI

LATE SHANG/EARLY ZHOU DYNASTY

Details
A LARGE BRONZE JAR AND COVER, LEI
Late Shang/Early Zhou Dynasty
Of baluster shape raised on a tall spreading foot, the rounded shoulder cast with three whorl-motif, raised circular bosses on each side dividing a pair of bovine-mask and loose-ring handles, all bordered by bowstring bands, with two further bow-string bands on the waisted neck, a single bovine-mask handle cast on the lower body on one side, the domed cover cast with four whorl-motif, raised circular bosses, with allover malachite and azurite encrustation
18in. (45.7cm.) high

Lot Essay

The most similar published example, both in proportion and decoration, (particularly the raised band at the widest point, rather than the more normal recessed band), is illustrated in Wenwu 1992:11 , pp. 16-17, pl. 8, fig. 4 and dated Shang/Zhou dynasty

For other examples see Robert W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 1987, nos. 75 and 76, pp. 422-426; Max Loehr, Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China, New York, 1968, no. 92, pp. 100-101; the Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Shang and Chou Dynasty Bronze Wine Vessels, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1989, pl. 35, pp. 130-131; and Zhongguo meishu quanji; Gongyi meishu; qing tongqi (The Great Treasury of Chinese Fine Arts; Arts and Crafts; Bronzes), vol. 4, Beijing, 1986, p. 29, pl. 80

The majority of the published examples of the late Shang dynasty type of lei appear to be cast in a rather less advanced stage of decoration than the present example, supporting a possible early Western Zhou date for this lot
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