An Archaic Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel (gu). Late Shang Dynasty, 13th-12th century BC. Photo Sotheby's

of slender, waisted form, crisply cast around the mid-section and splayed foot with pairs of taotie masks with raised eyes on a fine leiwen ground, centered by notched flanges and divided by a pair of bowstrings interrupted by two cruciform and two vertical apertures, the tall flared neck encircled by a narrow spiral bound below four upright triangular blades enclosing highly stylized angular scrolls, Japanese wood box (2). Height 10 3/4 in., 27.2 cm - ESTIMATION 60,000-80,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Japanese Collection, acquired before the 1960s

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: For a closely related gu please see Robert W. Bagley, Shang Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C., 1987, no. 31, p. 235 where the author discusses the attractive addition of notched flanges, "giving the columnar shape architectural stability." A vessel of similar form, decoration and dimension formerly in the J. T. Tai Collection was sold in these rooms, 22nd March 2011, lot 13.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York | 11 sept. 2012 www.sothebys.com