Lot 10. An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel (zhi), Shang DynastyEstimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's

the pear-shaped body rising from a tall foot to a flaring mouth, cast on each side of the body with a taotiemask, enclosed by registers of confronted kui dragons at the foot and shoulder, with a further taotie band at the neck, all divided by plain flanges, the bronze of a smooth silver-green patina with malachite encrustation, wood stand, two wood boxes (6) - Height 5 1/4  in., 13.4 cm

LiteratureHayashi Minao and Higuchi Takayasu, Fugendō Sakamoto Gorō Chūgoku seidōki seishō / Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Sakamoto Collection, Tokyo, 2002, pl. 46.

NotesCompare an almost identical zhi, formerly in the collection of Natanael Wessen and sold at Christie's London, 10th June 1991, lot 1, and two related zhi, together with their covers, in the Freer Gallery of Art, illustrated in John Alexander Pope,The Freer Chinese Bronzes, vol. 1, Washington, 1967, pl. 71; and the Hakutsuru Museum, illustrated in Shizuka Shirakawa,Selected Masterpieces of Hakutsuru Museum, Kobe, 1978, pl. 13.

Sotheby's. Chinese Art Through the Eye of Sakamoto Gor: Early Chinese Art, New York, 13 Sep 2016, 10:00 AM