02 août 2022

Zhou dynasty bronzes sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28 July 2022

 

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Lot 3003. A pair of inscribed archaic bronze ritual food vessels, Ding, Early Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); h. 20 cm, w. 17 cm. Lot sold: 1,512,000 HKD (Estimate: 400,000 - 600,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

inscribed with a six-character inscription; with 6 X-rays

Provenance: Hartman Rare Art, New York.

Note: Notable for its bowl-like body and three blade-like zoomorphic legs, the present lot represents an unusual group of ding. Inspired by pottery prototypes made in the Neolithic period, bronze versions of this unique form first appeared during the Erligang phase and continued to be produced through to the Shang and Western Zhou dynasty. Ding of this particular form were usually cast with legs in the form of stylised dragons. Tiger, fish and bird-shaped legs, as portrayed in the present lot, are exceedingly rare and generally period-specific. 

The shallow flat bottom bowl and the tall bird-shaped legs of the present example suggest a date in the early Western Zhou dynasty. Excavation findings reveal that ding of this type cast with striking stylised bird-legs appear to have only been made during the second phase of Yinxu culture and during the early-mid Western Zhou dynasty. The abstract rendering of the birds with eyes and wings cast in relief places the present lot in the early Western Zhou dynasty. A similar early Western Zhou inscribed example (excavation number M209:28) was unearthed at the Liulihe site, the capital of the Yan state in the Western Zhou period, and illustrated in Liulihe Xizhou Yanguo Mudi 1973–1977 [Yan State Cemetery of the Western Zhou Period at Liulihe 1973–1977], Beijing, 1995, pl. 77. Similar examples are also preserved in the Beijing Palace Museum (illustrated in Bronzes in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1999, pl. 86) and in the Taipei Palace Museum (accession number: 中銅001514N000000000).

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Flat-footed ding cauldron with inscription “Xi zi sun” dedicated to Fu Yi, late Shang to early Western Zhou period, c. 13th-10th century BCE, Taipei Palace Museum.

Compare also a similar bird-feet ding bearing the same six-character inscription, illustrated in Wu Zhenfeng, Shangzhou Qingtongqi Mingwen ji Tuxiang Jicheng [Compendium of Inscriptions and Images of Bronzes from the Shang and Zhou Dynasties], vol. 3, Shanghai, 2012, pl. 01591.

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Lot 3005. rare and large archaic bronze ritual pouring vessel, Yi, Late Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); w. 31 cm. Lot sold: 352,800 HKD (Estimate: 240,000 - 300,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

 with 2 X-rays. 

Provenance: Hartman Rare Art, New York.

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Lot 3006. rare archaic bronze 'phoenix' ritual wine vessel and cover, HuWarring States period (475-221 BC); w. 29.5 cm. Lot sold: 693,000 HKD (Estimate: 200,000 - 300,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 3 X-rays.

The dating of this lot is consistent with the result of CIRAM scientific report no. 1121-OA-65N.

ProvenanceSze Yuan Tang Collection, 1980s.
Bonhams Hong Kong, 24th November 2013, lot 470 (HKD 625,000).

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Lot 3010. A rare bronze and silver halberd blade, Ge, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 30.8 cm. Lot sold: 189,000 HKD (Estimate: 150,000 - 200,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

the elongated yuan with a slightly raised ridge down the centre and bevelled on either side, the lower edge curving gracefully to form the hu, the hu pierced with five vertically arranged chuan (apertures), the nei with a further chuan, patterned overall with silver with parallel wavy lines resembling tigerskin, the bronze of a smooth pale green patina with areas of azurite encrustation.

Provenance: Jean-Pierre Dubosc, Paris.
Collection of Dr Franco Vannotti, Lugano, coll. no. B47.
Eskenazi Ltd, London, 1989.
Christie's Paris, 26th November 2002, lot 209.
Collection of Barry L. MacLean.
Sotheby's New York, 21st September 2021, lot 23 (US$18,900).

Literature: Li Xueqin and Sarah Allan, ed., Ouzhou Suocang Zhongguo Qingtongqi Yizhu [Chinese Bronzes: A Selection from European Collections], Beijing, 1995, pl. 145.

ExhibitedChinese and Korean Art from the Collections of Dr Franco Vannotti, Hans Popper and others, Eskenazi Ltd, London, 1989, cat. no. 15.

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Lot 3012. A rare and large pair of bronze 'taotie' door knockersSpring and Autumn period (770-475 BC);h. 34 cm, w. 27 cm, Overall height including the display stand: 40 cm, Weight of each bronze taotie door knocker: 5.7kg, Weight of each stand: 6.2kg. Lot sold: 327,600 HKD (Estimate: 150,000 - 300,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 2 X-rays and display stands.

Provenance: Wong and Sons Art Gallery, New York, 1993.

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Lot 3014. rare bronze 'mask' chariot shaft finial, Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); 11.5 cm. Lot sold: 107,100 HKD (Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 1 X-ray.

Provenance: Muwen Tang Collection, 1990s.
Acquired in Hong Kong, 6th April 2015 (HK$92,000).

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Lot 3018. pair of gold sheet-embellished bronze 'mythical beast' chariot fittingsWarring States period (475-221 BC); 5.8 cm. Lot sold: 25,200 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Eskenazi, London.
Hartman Rare Art, New York.

Exhibited: Inlaid Bronze and Related Material from Pre-Tang China, Eskenazi, London, 1991, cat. no. 24.

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Lot 3019. An archaic bronze ritual vessel and cover, FuSpring and Autumn period (770-475 BC); 34 by 22.5 by h. 22.8 cm. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD (Estimate: 60,000 - 80,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 4 X-rays.

Provenance: Acquired in Japan, 1990s.

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Lot 3024. rare archaic bronze 'bird' pouring vessel, YiChu Culture, Spring and Autumn period (770-475 BC); 15.8 cm. Lot sold: 126,000 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 2 X-rays.

Provenance: Kaikodo Asian Art Gallery, New York.

Note: Pouring vessels of this rare falcon form were made in both bronze and polychrome painted lacquer during the Eastern Zhou dynasty, with only a handful existing today. An early Warring States example of similar form but undecorated sides was excavated in 1983 in Langjia village, Linzi, the ancient city of Qi State, and illustrated in Zhongguo Qingtongqi Quanji [Complete Series on Chinese Bronzes], vol. 9: Eastern Zhou III, Beijing, 1997, pl. 36. Both bronze and lacquer examples were also recovered from the tomb of Zhao Tuo, a high official of the Chu state at Baoshan, Hubei province, whose burial is dated to 316 BC; see Baoshan Chu Mu, Beijing, 1991, vol. 2, figs 11-3, 56-4 and 43-1&2; and line drawings illustrated in vol. 1, figs 122:1, 86 and 87. See also a similar Warring States vessel from the collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, sold in our New York rooms, 19th March 2002, lot 103.  

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Lot 3031. rare bronze figure of a winged tigerEastern Zhou dynasty (770-221 BC); 11 cm. Lot sold: 352,800 HKD (Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 1 X-ray.

Provenance: Muwen Tang Collection, 1990s, by repute.

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Lot 3033. A group of 9 gold and silver-inlaid bronze chariot fittings, including five U-shaped hoops (轙) and a trapezial fitting used for guiding the reins, two yoke fittings (軛軥), and a small circular disc (銅泡)Warring States period (475-221 BC); 4.5 to 10 cm. Lot sold: 604,800 HKD (Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Mengdiexuan Collection, Hong Kong, coll. no. G1009/a-i.
Acquired in Hong Kong, 9th April 2014, lot 641 (HK$161,000).

Exhibited: Jessica Rawson and Emma Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Oriental Ceramic Society and Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1990, cat. no. 95.

Note: See a similar circular harness fitting discovered in the tombs of Mancheng, Heibei province, and illustrated in the excavation report, Mancheng Hanmu Fajue Baogao [Excavation of the Han Tombs at Mancheng], vol. 1, Beijing, 1980, fig. 138:3.

 

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Lot 3034. bronze 'phoenix' fittingSpring and Autumn Period (770-475 BC); 7.2 cm. Lot sold: 23,940 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong.

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Lot 3038. A archaic bronze wine vessel and cover, HuWarring States period (475-221 BC); 37 cm. Lot sold: 100,800 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 3 X-rays.

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong.

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Lot 3040. bronze openwork 'dragon' incense burner, Eastern Zhou dynasty (1027-770 BC); w. 18.2 cm. Lot sold: 94,500 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong.

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Lot 3041. A gold and silver-inlaid bronze 'dragon' cylindrical boxWarring States period (475-221 BC); 7.5 cm. Lot sold: 119,700 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Feng Wen Tang Collection, 1990s.
Acquired in Hong Kong, 31st May 2016.

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Lot 3043. A gold and silver-inlaid bronze 'dragon' chariot fittings, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 5.9 cm. Lot sold: 239,400 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Feng Wen Tang Collection, 1990s.
Acquired in Hong Kong, 6th October 2015 (HK$ 84,960).

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Lot 3045. A silver and gold-inlaid bronze 'mask' belt hook with hardstone-inlaid eyes, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 10.8 cm. Lot sold: 81,900 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Feng Wen Tang Collection, 1990s.
Acquired in Hong Kong, 31st May 2016.

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Lot 3049. Three gold and silver-inlaid bronze ornamentscomprising a finial and two belt buckles, Warring States period (475-221 BC); 5.5 and 7.3 cm. Lot sold: 81,900 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

ProvenanceMandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong, 1999.

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Lot 3051. An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Dui, Spring and Autumn period (770-475-221 BC); h. 22.3 cm, w. 26 cm. Lot sold: 189,000 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 2 X-rays.

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong, 1999.

 

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Lot 3054. bronze pouring vessel, YiEastern Zhou dynasty or earlier; w. 17.1 cm, h. 13.2 cm. Lot sold: 56,700 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong.

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Lot 3061. bronze 'animal' tuning keyWarring States period (475-221 BC); 15 . Lot sold: 25,200 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Mandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong, 1999.

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Lot 3063. An archaic bronze ritual wine vessel, Zhi, Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); 18.3 cm. Lot sold: 75,600HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

 ProvenanceMandala Fine Arts, Hong Kong.

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Lot 3065. A large archaic bronze food vesselDing, Early Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); with 2 X-rays. Lot sold: 302,400 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 2 X-rays.

Provenance: Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo.

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 Lot 3066. An archaic bronze wine vessel and cover, Hu, Early Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); h. 33.8 cm. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD (Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

with 2 X-rays.

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Lot 3067. pair of bronze 'ox' ornaments, Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC); 5 cm. Lot sold: 32,760 HKD (Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Acquired in Japan, 1990s.

 

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Lot 3073. group of four archaic bronze food vessels, LiLate Western Zhou - Eastern Zhou dynasty; 15.5 cm. Lot sold: 189,000 HKD (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

ProvenanceAcquired in Japan, 1990s.

Sotheby's. Chinese Art Online: A Private Asian Collection, Hong Kong, 28 July 2022.


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