Lot 1237. A bronze ritual tripod food vessel and cover, ding, late Spring and Autumn period, 5th century BC; 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm.) across handlesEstimate 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price realised USD 56,250© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The vessel is raised on three cabriole supports and is flat-cast on the sides with two bands of different width of a repeated interlocking scroll pattern filled with leiwen, and separated by a rope-twist band. There are three rings on the cover, which is decorated with two concentric bands and a central medallion of the same pattern. The patina is of mottled grey and brownish-grey color with milky green patina, and malachite encrustation on the interior of the vessel and azurite encrustation on the interior of the cover.

Provenance: Michael Goedhuis, London, April 1996.

Note: A similar ding and cover of comparable size, dated early 5th century BC, is illustrated by J. So in Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1995, pp. 158-9, no. 20, where the author notes, p. 159, that vessels with the same "T-shape decor seem to come mainly from the Yellow River basin," and occasionally from farther north. She also mentions a very similar vessel in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, and illustrates, p. 160, fig. 20.1, another similar ding and cover from Shanxi Tunliu Wujiagou, dated to early 5th century BC, as well as a drawing of an elliptical dou and cover from Shanxi Hunyuan Liyu, which shares the same scroll decoration, p. 161, fig. 20.2. The author further notes that fragments with related patterns suggest that vessels with this pattern were probably made at the foundry at Shanxi Houma.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Furniture, Archaic Bronzes and Works of ArtNew York21 - 22 March 2013