Lot 812. A finely engraved gilt-bronze stem cup, Tang dynasty (618-907); 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) high, cloth boxEstimate USD 20,000 – USD 25,000© Christie's 2023

The exterior of the cup is engraved with a wide band of leafy flower scroll reserved on a ring-punched ground below a narrow band of florets linked by ‘C’-scrolls. The splayed foot is decorated with four fan-shaped panels, each engraved with a different flower. The cup is covered overall in thick, well-preserved gilding, with small areas of malachite and cuprite encrustation.

ProvenanceDr. Giovanni Fabri Collection.
Highly Important Chinese Tang Pottery, Metalworks and Sculpture from a European Private Collection; Sotheby's London, 10th June 1986, lot 34.
Private European collection.
J. J. Lally & Co., New York, no. 4728.

NoteThis finely engraved stem cup exemplifies the refinement of Tang-dynasty metalwork. Compare a smaller gilt-bronze stem cup engraved with a different pattern of floral scroll on a ring-punched ground from the collection of Mrs. Roy Hunt illustrated by H. Trubner in The Arts of the T’ang Dynasty, Los Angeles, 1957, no. 121. Another smaller gilt-bronze stem cup in the Avery Brundage Collection, engraved with a hunting scene, is illustrated by J. Fontein and Wu Tung, Unearthing China’s Past, Boston, 1973, p. 180, pl. 93.

Christie's. J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 23.03.2023