Lot 108. A rare archaic bronze wine vessel and cover, hu, Warring States Period (475-221 BC); 35cm (13 3/4in) high. Estimate HK$ 300,000-400,000. Sold for HK$ 327,500 (€ 34,879). Photo: Bonhams.

The ovoid body raised on a slightly flaring foot, and engraved with stylised cloud scrolls within bands and triangles, between three bands of concave strings, the shoulder flanked by mask-and-ring handles under a waisted neck engraved with stylised plantain leaves filled with stylised cloud scrolls, the slightly-domed cover cast with three handles and engraved with a stylised cloud band, the bronze of dark brown patina, box. 

ProvenanceHuaxia Tang Collection, Taiwan.

Note: The engraved patterns were probably filled in with red lacquer, a few traces of which remain in some grooves. Bronzes tended to be lavishly decorated during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, and were sometimes inlaid with gold, silver, precious stones, glass, as well as lacquer. Compare with a very similar bronze hu, late Warring States period, in the Hubei Provincial Museum, illustrated in the Zhongguo Qingtongqi Quanji (Complete Collection of Chinese Bronzes), Beijing, 1996, pl.40.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 Dec 2020, Hong Kong, Admiralty