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TWO RARE CARVED BONE FRAGMENTS
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. AND MRS. MALCOLM E. MCPHERSON
TWO RARE CARVED BONE FRAGMENTS

SHANG DYNASTY, 13TH-12TH CENTURY BC

Details
TWO RARE CARVED BONE FRAGMENTS
SHANG DYNASTY, 13TH-12TH CENTURY BC
One carved from a long, curved section with prominent median ridge, crisply carved on one side with three taotie masks with large hooked horns, some remains of turquoise inlay; the other carved with a portion of a dragon head above a band with whorl motif reserved on a leiwen ground, above a band of leiwen-filled blades, the underside incised with similar design.
4¾ and 3¾ in. (12 and 9.5 cm.) long, one box (2)
Provenance
Larger fragment: Acquired in Washington, DC, 1970s.
Smaller fragment: Sedgwick Collection.
Eumorfopoulos Collection
Acquired in London in the early 1970s.
Exhibited
San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Hall of Flowers, Treasures of the Orient, Society for Asian Art, 1979, nos. 10b and 10c respectively.

Lot Essay

A group of Shang-dynasty bone fragments carved with full or partial taotie masks is illustrated in Homage to Heaven, Homage to Earth, Chinese Treasures of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1992, p. 215, pl. 121. Bone fragments of this type have been excavated from tombs in the 'royal cemetery' at Anyang, but as the pieces are fragmentary, there is uncertainty as to their use.

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