Lot 153. A rare Pair of rare silver-inlaid archaic bronze canopy pole fittings, Warring States Period (475-221 BC). 17 7/8 in., 45.4 cm. Estimate 60,000 — 80,000 USD. Lot sold 84,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
cast in two cylindrical sections each with a single rib, finely inlaid in silver with highly stylized phoenixes against a densely scrolled zoomorphic ground of diagonal scrolls, chevrons, and heart-shaped lappets, the elements forming positive and negative images against the bronze, the upper section interlocking with the lower and secured by a deeply grooved double-ribbed central belt.
Note: This canopy pole fitting is especially fine for its elaborate and well preserved inlaid decoration. Fittings of this form are rare although a closely related bronze and silver inlaid pole fitting is illustrated in Chinese Bronzes: A Selection from European Collections, Beijing, 1998, pl. 149. A-B. See also a shorter tubular fitting inlaid with a design resembling some of the elaborately embroidered textiles from Mashan and Mawangdui included in the exhibition Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1990, cat.no. 94; and another shorter in size, in the British Museum collection illustrated in Jessica Rawson, Ancient China: Art and Archaeology, London, 1980, pl. XII. A pole fitting of similar design was sold in these rooms, 3rd June 1992, lot 55.