Lot 29. An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel (Zhi), Late Shang dynasty-early Western Zhou dynasty. Height 8⅛ in., 20.5 cm. Estimate: 30,000 - 40,000 USD. Unsold. © Sotheby's 2021
the compressed pear-shaped body of oval section rising from a tall, slightly splayed foot to a flared rim, the waisted neck flanked by a pair of lug handles and decorated with borders of geometric motifs echoed on the foot, all below a frieze of cicadas encircling the rim, the domed cover with a scrollwork border against a leiwen ground, surmounted by a finial cast with taotie masks.
Note: Compare an example of similar form also decorated with stylized cicadas in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Zhongguo qingtongqi quanji, Shang, vol. 2, Beijing, 1997, pl. 133, and another similar zhi vessel illustrated in Robert Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, Cambridge, 1987, fig. 49.20.
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 21 September 2021