Lot 2018. A bronze ritual vessel, pan, Middle Western Zhou dynasty, 10th-9th century BC; 16 3/8 in. (41.5 cm.) wide with handles. Estimate USD 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price Realized USD 22,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2014.
The heavily cast vessel has shallow sides that rise to an everted rim, and is cast on the exterior with abstract, hooked scrolls interrupted by the pair of upright U-shaped handles. The spreading foot is cast with quadrants of two different feather patterns. An illegible inscription is cast in the center of the interior. There is a greenish patina and extensive earth encrustation.
Provenance: Acquired in New York, 1991.
Note: Pan were shallow basins used as ritual vessels to hold water. They were used in conjunction with a he or a yi to form a set of vessels for the washing of hands. Such vessels would have been included in the ritual vessel sets "required by an individual or family of a given period to perform the customary ritual food and wine offerings to the ancestors." See J. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. IIA, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1990, p. 98. Such a set, of Middle Western Zhou date, from Shaanxi Fufeng Qijiacun M19, is illustrated in a line drawing, ibid., p. 99, fig. 142d.
A very similar pan of comparable size (42.3 cm.) is illustrated by J. A. Pope et al. in The Freer Chinese Bronzes, vol. I, Washington, 1967, pl. 82.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 20 - 21 March 2014