Lot 1258. An unusual bronze axle cap, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 8 5/8 in. (22 cm.) longEstimate USD 10,000 - USD 15,000Price realised USD 40,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.

The tapering cylindrical cap with two collars either side of a recessed area cast with a band of taotie masks reserved on a granular ground and with a rope-twist border, with a further rope-twist band near the end of the cap which is interrupted by the sides of the unusual projecting blade with one scalloped cutting edge, pierced with two holes, one enclosing a loose ring, with mottled malachite and earth encrustation, stand

ProvenanceAcquired in Hong Kong, 14 June 1998.

NoteCompare the two bronze axle caps cast with long serrated blades excavated in 1978 from the tomb of a marquis in Sui County, Hubei province, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Dachuan, Hong Kong, 1994, p. 289, no. 1044.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 24 March 2011