Chinese interest in fanggu, restoring the ancient ways, is evident not only in the revival of ceramic styles but in the reproduction of archaic bronzes. Appreciating antiques was a cultivated pastime of the learned class, and the noble pursuit could be found on paintings throughout the Yuan, Ming and Qing periods. Cf. a painting by Wang Shugu (1649 - after 1731), Duke of Fengyang Enjoying Antiques, from the Tsui Museum collection, illustrated in Splendour of the Qing Dynasty, no.20, where hu and jue bronzes are depicted as treasures.
For a Shang prototype of this design, compare with a small fangding without the cover and cast with confronting kui dragons, included in the Exhibition of Chinese Art, Venice , 1954, Catalogue, no. 55, from the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Colonge and the Fritz Low Beer Collections, and subsequently sold in our New York Rooms, 2 December 1985, lot 77. Compare also with another dated to the late Shang Dynasty with taller feet, sold in our New York Rooms, 2 December 1986, lot 318.