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An important archaic bronze wine vessel (zun). Late Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th century BC. Photo Sotheby's

with a tall and slightly bulging waist, a wide trumpet-shape mouth and a molded foot, the upper body of the vessel largely plain, two bowstrings on the curved neck; its swelling waist and splayed lower part are decorated with bands, divided by eight thick notched flanges, with eight highly stylized dragon motifs in between; the dragon with raised eyes, bird-like beak and upright tail, against a background of leiwen, the waist band is bordered by rows of small circlets; the bronze with a warm aged patina, and small areas of red cuprite and green malachite, a long inscription with eleven columns inside the footring. Height 12 in., 30.5 cm. Estimation: 200,000 - 300,000 USD. Lot. Vendu 389,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Collection of Charles Lambert Rutherston (1866-1927), Bradford, England.
Sotheby’s New York, 22nd March 1995, lot 119.
Sotheby’s New York, 17th October 2001, lot 10.

EXHIBITED: The Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1915.
International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy, London, 1935-36.
An Exhibition of Chinese Art, New Zealand, 1937.
Bluett & Sons, London, 1948.

LITTERATURE: Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Art, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1915, pl. XLI.
Hamilton Bell, “Mr C.L. Rutherston’s Bronzes”, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. XXVII, February 1916, pp. 231-238, pl.1., fig. A.
Albert J. Koop, Early Chinese Bronzes, London 1924, p. 39, pl. 4.
Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art 1935-6: Illustrated Supplement to the Catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, p. 16, fig. 182.
Bernhard Karlgren, “New Studies on Chinese Bronzes”, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no. 9, Stockholm, 1937, p. 50, no. 730.
Captain George Humphreys-Davis, An Exhibition of Chinese Art held in 1937 at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin in the Dominion of New Zealand, Auckland, N.Z. Newspaper Ltd., 1937, no. 104.
The Rutherston Collection of Old Chinese Works of Art, London, Bluett & Sons, 1948, no. 80.
Bernhard Karlgren, “Marginalia on Some Bronze Albums II”, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (BMFEA), no. 32, Stockholm, 1960, pl. 19b.

NOTE: The dating of this lot is consistent with the results of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd., no.666v19.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. New York | 19 mars 2013 - www.sothebys.com