A gilt bronze finial, Han dynasty. Estimate US$ 10,000 - 15,000 (€8,800 - 13,000). Photo: Bonhams.
Cast as a mythical bird in flight, with long, rectangular wings and a fan-shaped plume at the tail, the feathers of stylized geometric form, the head turned back with large eyes and a hooked beak and horn-like protuberances, attached to a heavily encrusted fitting, the surface of the bird with scattered areas of gilt loss, and encrustation. 2 5/8 in (6.7cm) long
Provenance: Eskenazi Ltd., London. 5 June 1989, Eskenazi stock ref. #C-929
Notes: The present lot exhibits similarities in style and execution with a group of gilt bronze fittings made for a cylindrical vessel and cover, dated Western Han dynasty, including three mounts in the form of phoenix-like birds that likely adorned the cover of the vessel. See Giuseppe Eskenazi, Inlaid Bronze and Related Material from Pre-Tang China, London, 1991, cat. no. 11. The features of the bird's heads, the articulation of the feathers and the crispness of the casting bear a close relationship to this lot. Elaborately plumed mythical birds, especially in the form of finials, are often observed in Han bronzes. See a slightly later gilt bronze finial, dated Eastern Han/Six dynasties, sold Bonhams Hong Kong, 24 November 2013, lot 536.
Bonhams. EIGHT TREASURES FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION. 16 Mar 2015 11:45 EDT - NEW YORK