A bronze ritual wine vessel (zun), Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th century BC

Lot 905. A bronze ritual wine vessel (zun), Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th century BC; 10 in. (25.8 cm.) high. Estimate USD 60,000 - USD 80,000Price realised USD 87,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017 

The rounded mid-section is cast with two narrow bands of pairs of backward-looking dragons, each divided by narrow flanges. The bottom of the interior is cast with a six-character inscription reading Bo zuo bao zun yi. The patina of dark silvery color is covered with malachite and cuprite encrustation with touches of azurite blue.

Provenance: Sotheby's London, 2 March 1971, lot 58.
J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 24 June 1975.
Arthur M. Sackler Collections. 
Else Sackler, 1997.
The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation

LiteratureJ. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. IIB, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990, pp. 574-79, no. 87. 
Wang Tao and Liu Yu, A Selection of Early Chinese Bronzes with Inscriptions from Sotheby's and Christie's Sales, Shanghai, 2007, no. 162. 

ExhibitedJerusalem, Israel Museum, 1996. 

NoteThe inscription may be translated as 'Bo made this precious sacrificial vessel'. This inscription can also be found on a you vessel with similar decoration sold at Sotheby's London, 2 March 1971, lot 57. This you is very likely to be one of the companion vessels to the present zun, forming a ritual vessel set. A similar early Western Zhou zun and you set in the Hakutsuru Bijutsukan, Kobe, is illustrated by J. Rawson in Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. IIB, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990, p. 577, figs. 87.4 and 87.5.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 14 - 15 September 2017, New York