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Lot 101. A rare archaic bronze wine vessel, jiao, Late Shang Dynasty; 21.5cm (8 1/2in) high. (2). Sold for HKD 1,011,000 (Est: HKD 600,000 - HKD 900,000)© Bonhams 2001-2022

The deep U-shaped body rising from three splayed triangular blade legs to two flaring points, finely cast on each side with a taotie mask detailed with protruding eyes reserved on an intricate leiwen ground, divided on one side by a notched flange, and on the other by a vertical panel cast with an inscription reading □ xi □, beneath the loop handle issuing from a bovine head, all below a band of upright triangles, the satiny grey patina with some malachite-green encrustation, stand.

ProvenanceA Japanese private collection, acquired in Osaka
An Asian private collection.

Note: Although many jue vessels exist, it is rarer to find its evolved counterpart jiao vessels like the present lot which appears to have been excavated only from tombs of high-ranking officials.

See a similar late Shang dynasty bronze jiao in the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, illustrated in Zhongguo qingtongqi quanji, vol.3, Beijing, 1997, pl.31; another late Shang dynasty bronze jiao, excavated in Shandong province, is illustrated in Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series: Bronzes, Beijing, 2002, pl.30; compare also a bronze jiao of the same period with related decoration and more splayed feet, illustrated by P. F. Chen in Xiashangzhou qingtongqi yanjiu: Xia Shang pian, Shanghai, 2004, vol.2, pl.97; and a further example of a late Shang dynasty Tianmin fu yi jiao, from the Qing Imperial Collection, sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 March 2014, lot 103.

Bonhams. GANBEI A TOAST TO CHINESE WINE CULTURE, 30 November 2022, Hong Kong, Admiralty