Lot 1258. An unusual bronze axle cap, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 8 5/8 in. (22 cm.) long. Estimate USD 10,000 - USD 15,000. Price 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.
Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong, 14 June 1998.
Note: Compare 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