A pair of archaic bronze ritual wine vessels, gu, Shang dynasty, 13th century BC

Lot 530. A pair of archaic bronze ritual wine vessels, gu, Shang dynasty, 13th century BC; 10 3/4 in., 27.4 cm. Estimate 35,000 — 45,000 USD. Lot sold 114,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

each of slender form with wide trumpet mouth, crisply cast in low relief with four upright lappet blades emerging from a band of taotie masks, the faces with raised bosses for eyes centered and divided by notched flanges and reserved on a leiwen ground, above double raised filets separating the central bulbous segment from the tall flaring foot similarly cast with taotie masks between notched flanges, with a pictogram to the inner wall of each foot, the surface with malachite encrustation.

Provenance: Acquired from a Californian Collector, 1992.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, including Property from the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 19-20 march 2007