A bronze ritual food vessel, gui, Late Shang dynasty, 12th-11th century BC

Lot 1507. A bronze ritual food vessel, gui, Late Shang dynasty, 12th-11th century BC, 9 in. (23 cm.) across handles. Estimate USD 100,000 - USD 150,000Price realised USD 230,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The sides cast with a 'diamond and boss' band between borders of circles, below four pairs of quilled dragons centered on either a small mask on two sides or the bovine heads that surmount the C-scroll handles that terminate in hooked tabs and are cast with taotie masks, with a band of stylized and simplified dragons centered by oval eyes encircling the slightly flared foot, with a four-character inscription cast in the bottom of the interior, with dark grey and mottled milky green patina, wood stand

Provenance: Mathias Komor, New York, 1957

NoteThe inscription cast in the bottom of the vessel reads Shi Bei zuo FuXin, which may be translated as 'Cast by the scribe Bei for Father Xin.'

Compare the similar gui illustrated by J. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Washington DC, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1990, pp. 390-1, no. 45; and two other similar examples sold in these rooms, 19 September 2006, lot 148, and 24-25 March 2011, lot 1238.  

Christie'sFine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (Part I), 22-23 March 2012, New York