Lot 1129. A bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, you, Late Shang-Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century BC; 8½ in. (21.6 cm.) high. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 60,000. Price realised USD 183,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The pear-shaped vessel, which is of oval section, is raised on a spreading foot and is cast on each side with a band of dragon scroll formed by two dragons with backward-turned heads and centered by a mask cast in high relief. The swing handle is cast with elongated cicadas and diamond-shaped bosses, and terminates at each end in an animal mask. The cover has a similar dragon band and a stylized mask-form flange at either end. Both the vessel and the cover are cast on the interior with an inscription. The bronze has a mottled patina and areas of malachite encrustation.
Provenance: Raymond A. Bidwell (1876-1954) Collection.
The Springfield Museums, Springfield, Massachusetts, accessioned in 1962.
Literature: Byte, The Small Systems Journal, Chinese Edition, 1986.
Note: The inscription cast on the interior of both the cover and the vessel reads  zuo Zu Yi bao zun yi, which may be translated, ' made this precious vessel for Grandfather Yi'.
A you of similar size and decoration, but with tapir-head terminals, is illustrated in Hakutsuru Kikkinshu (Collection of Hakutsuru Art Museum), Kyoto, Japan, 1939, no. 13.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 21 - 22 March 2013