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Lot 808. A bronze pole finial, Late Shang Dynasty, Anyang, 12th-11th Century BC. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017.

The upper section is cast in relief on both sides with a taotie mask flanked by ears below a pair of large up-curved horns, and the conical lower section is flat cast with simplified taotie masks. The bronze has a smooth, mottled olive-green patina and traces of cinnabar. 4 ¼ in. (11 cm.) high, stand

Provenance: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 11 May 1978, lot 13.
The Erwin Harris Collection, Miami, Florida.

NoteCompare the two pole finials of this type, each similarly surmounted by a pair of curved, scale-cast horns above a mask: the first illustrated by B. Karlgren in a Catalogue of the Chinese Bronzes in the Alfred F. Pillsbury Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1950, pl. 96, no. 73, has, like the Harris finial, a taotie mask; the other in the Frederick M. Mayer Collection, sold at Christie's London, 24-25 June 1974, lot 221, has a human mask. See, also, the example with taotie mask illustrated in "The Exhibition of Early Chinese Bronzes," B.M.F.E.A., No. 6, Stockholm, 1934, pl. V (3), which was found at Anyang.

Christie's. The Harris Collection: Important Early Chinese Art, 16 March 2017, New York, Rockefeller Center