Lot 1247. A bronze ritual tripod wine vessel and cover, tilianhu, Han dynasty (206 BC - AD 220); 8½ in. (21.5 cm.) high with handleEstimate 6,000 - USD 8,000. Price realised USD 21,250© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The broad pear-shaped body is raised on three cabriole legs and has a pair of loop handles on the shoulder which suspend loose rings that are attached to links suspended from the dragon-head terminals of the yoke handle. The slightly domed cover has a flat, pierced finial. There is extensive milky blue-green encrustation allover, Japanese wood box.

Provenance: Kinpei Takeuchi (1873-1960).
Ryuichi Sano (1889-1977), acquired in Tokyo, 1950s.
Sano Art Museum, Mishima, Japan.

LiteratureSano Bijutsukan zohinsho, Sano Art Museum, 1986, p. 77, no. 103.

Note: A similar hu dated late Han dynasty, 2nd-1st century BC, is illustrated by C. Deydier, Les Bronzes Chinois, Paris, 1980, no. 81. Unlike the single, pierced, flat finial in the center of the cover of the present hu, the cover of the published vessel has three simplified animal-form rings spaced evenly near the edge, which would have functioned as supports when the cover was inverted.

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