Acquired in July 1993.
The round shape and form of this vessel with its ring handles, cloven footed legs and animal head pouring lip and the style of its cast decoration makes it a very rare bronze and no similar example appears to be recorded. Compare the animal head pouring lips and handles, variously with and without spiral horns, of yi illustrated by Jessica Rawson in Chinese Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, vol. III, pls. 68, 69, 70, 72 and figs. 68.1, 69.1. None have cloven feet and none have rings on the rim.
The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C101x80 is consistent with the dating of this lot.