Lot 1510. A bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, you, Late Shang dynasty, 11th century BC, 9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 70,000 - USD 90,000. Price realised USD 134,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012
Of pear shape and elliptical section, raised on a spreading foot encircled by two bow-string bands, the sides cast with a raised band of angular leiwen spirals between borders of circles, with an animal mask cast in high relief on each side and two loops at the ends to which are attached the ends of the rope-twist handle, the domed cover with waisted sides and decorated with a similar scroll band below the segmented finial, the bottom of the interior and interior of the cover cast with an inscription, with mottled patina, box.
Provenance: Mathias Komor, New York, 1947.
Note: The inscription cast inside the cover and in the bottom of the vessel, Fu ding, may be translated as 'Father Ding.'
A similar you with differently shaped animal masks is illustrated by R.W. Bagley, Chinese Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Washington, DC, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987, pp. 388-9, no. 68, which is dated to the 11th century BC.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (Part I), 22-23 March 2012, New York