Lot 1211. A bronze ritual wine vessel, gu, Shang dynasty, 13th-12th century BC; 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm.) high. Estimate USD 15,000 - USD 20,000. Price realised USD 37,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The vessel has a plain trumpet-shaped neck and spreading foot, and the bulbous mid-section is cast with two taotie masks with boss-like eyes divided and separated by slender notched flanges and set between raised bow-string borders. A two-character inscription is cast on the interior of the foot. The surface has a milky green patina with some ferrous encrustation.
Provenance: David Hausman, New York, 1990.
Note: The inscription cast on the interior of the foot consists of the character Yi, a personal name, followed by a second character, possibly reading gui.
A larger (23.7 cm.) gu with similar cast decoration around the mid-section, but cast with additional taotie on the spreading foot, is illustrated by R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, p. 258, no. 40, where it is dated 13th-12th century BC.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 21 - 22 March 2013