Lot 147. A rare early black and red lacquer and wood core ear cup, Zhou-Han dynasty, 5th-3rd Century BCE.; 7in (17.8cm) across, cloth wrap, wood box. Sold for US$ 2,550 (€ 2,177)© Bonhams 2001-2021

The deep oval cup lacqured red to the interior and a dark black-brown lacquer to the lower part of the exterior and the underside of the 'ear' handles, a wide reserve-decorated geometric red-ground band on a vertical wall at the rim which is also found on the flat rising top of the 'ears', the sides of the 'ears' decorated on a black-brown ground with circlet wavy scrolls in red lacquer.

Property from the Robert and Mee-Din Moore Collection.

NoteSee Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art, Freer Gallery of Art Handbook, Washington D.C., 1978, p. 58 for another ear cup with fantastic geometric designs. The cup is said to have come from a tomb in Changsha, Hunan province and is typical of lacquer finds from the domain of the Warring States of Ch'u. Our example with its fairly rigid design appears to reflect the elaborate style of inlaid bronzes of the late Eastern Zhou dynasty.

See also another ear cup balanced atop a stem illustrated in The Freer Gallery of Art, I China, Tokyo, 1981, p. 177, pl. 112. Another is illustrated by James C.Y. Watt and Barbara Brennan Ford, East Asian Lacquer, The Florence and Herbert Irvibg Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1991, p. 17, no. 3.

Bonhams. Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Paintings, New York, 20 Sep 2021