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An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, gui, and a bronze wine vessel, jue. Western Zhou Period

The gui of bombé form rising to the flared rim, flanked by loop handles emerging from the jaws of horned dragons, supported on a tall splayed foot, the body cast with ribs below a band with two pairs of confronted dragons interrupted by a raised mask of a hare, the foot similarly cast with two pairs of confronted dragons, the handles with C scrolls, 25cm (9¾in) wide; and a jue, raised on three blades rising to the tall beaker with a side loop handle emanating from the mouth of a dragon, the flared rim with a curved open spout surmounted by two mushrooms, the body cast with two pairs of confronted taotie masks reserved on a leiwen ground. 21.4cm (8½in) high. (2). Sold for £18,000

Provenance: Zhang Family Collection, New York
J. Abraham Cohen Collection, New York
Purchased by the present owner in 1998

Note: Compare a similar ribbed gui from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, illustrated in Beauty and Tranquility: The Eli Lilly Collection of Chinese Art, Indianapolis, 1983, pl.31; see also a related ribbed gui, cast with whorl medallions and serpents, dated as Early Western Zhou Period, illustrated by J.Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol.IIB, Washington D.C. and Cambridge, Mass., 1990, Catalogue no.49. A related ribbed gui with whorl medallions, sold at Sotheby's New York, 22 September 2004, lot 111.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 14 May 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com