Lot 428. A very rare archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, jue, Late Shang Dynasty; 17cm (6 3/4in) high. Sold for £ 40,250 (€ 46,773). © Bonhams
The vessel with a deep U-shaped body rising from three spreading triangular blade legs to a pointed rim opposite a guttered spout flanked by a pair of posts capped with conical 'fire-whorl' medallions, the exterior boldly cast with studs evenly spaced within a diamond pattern, one side set with a loop handle, a pictogram under the handle, Japanese wood box.
Provenance: Mayuyama and Co., Tokyo
Christie's New York, 22 March 2007, lot 242
Published and Illustrated: Sueji Umehara, Nihon shucho shina kodo seika, vol.3, Yamanaka shokai, 1961, no.299 (top).
Roger Keverne Ltd., Winter Exhibition, London, 2007, no.1.
Note: The pictogram consists of an inverted arrowhead rendered in fine, raised lines.
The diamond-and-boss decoration on the present lot is very rare on jue vessels, and is usually found on gui or yu. See for example, yu vessels with this decoration illustrated by R.Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M.Sackler Collections, pp.504-509, nos.98 and 99, where it is noted that 'yu with diamond-and-boss decoration, probably an invention of Anyang foundries..., enjoyed an extraordinary vogue with predynastic Zhou casters and continued in fashion for a short time after the Zhou conquest.'
See a similar bronze inscribed jue, late Shang dynasty, which was sold at Bonhams London, 5 November 2020, lot 3.
Bonhams. Roger Keverne Ltd Moving On (Part II), London, New Bond Street, 7 Jun 2021