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Details
A RARE AND IMPORTANT BRONZE FOOD VESSEL, GUI
WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY (CIRCA 1100-771 BC)

The compressed body cast with two narrow bands of raised 'eyes' reserved against squared curls within triangular panels with four animal masks at the compass points issuing loop handles with protruding flanges ending in hooves forming the legs embellished with scales, the interior with a four-character pictograph, the patina of mottled tones (legs restuck)
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) wide, stand, box
Provenance
Formerly from the Qing palace collection
Literature
Thomas Lawton, An Imperial Legacy Revisited: Bronze Vessels from the Qing Palace Collection, Asian Art vol. 1, no. 1, Fall/Winter, 1987-88, Oxford University Press, fig. y-z, pl. 76.
Exhibited
Exhibition of Chinese Art, C.T. Loo and Company, New York, 1941.

Lot Essay

Acquired by the present owner in May 1962.

Compare with the Ban gui with a lengthy inscription of this rare form, previously in the Qing imperial palace collection and re-discovered in 1972, believed to have been cast to commemorate the victory of Count Mao against the state of Yuanrong during the reign of King Mu of the Western Zhou period, illustrated by Ma Chengyuan, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1986, pl 43. Similar to the present bronze with its unusual raised legs, the Ban gui is cast with exaggerated protrusions from the handles that emerge into upturned dragon-like feet.

The addition of the feet on bronzes appeared in the second half of the early Western Zhou period and continued throughout the middle Western Zhou; for a discussion cf. R. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sacker Collections, vol. IIB, Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 468-469.
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