An engraved gilt-bronze stem cup, Tang dynasty (618-907)


Lot 816. An engraved gilt-bronze stem cup, Tang dynasty (618-907); 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) high, cloth boxEstimate USD 8,000 – USD 12,000. Unsold. © Christie's 2023

The exterior of the cup is engraved with a continuous scene of two hunters on horseback, one with a club extended and ready to strike, the other with bow drawn and followed by two hounds, all reserved on a ring-punched ground below a foliate scroll band. The gilded surface has areas of green patination.

ProvenanceAcquired in Hong Kong, 1999.
J. J. Lally & Co., New York, no. 3098.

Note: A gilt-bronze stemcup of this form engraved with similar hunting scene in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, is illustrated in Chinese Art in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1972, p. 221, no. 139. A silver stem cup with similar design, unearthed in 1970 from a treasure hoard at Hejiacun in the southern suburbs of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, is illustrated in Wenwu, 1972, No. 1, p. 39, no. 19. The same stemcup is illustrated again in Zhongguo Meishu Quanji, (The Great Treasure of Chinese Fine Arts), Vol. 10: Gongyi Meishu Bian (Works of Art and Craft), Beijing, 1987, p. 23, no. 49, with full description on p. 14.2), north of Xinzhai village, Zhao town, Liquan county, Shaanxi Province, and is illustrated in Wenwu, 1977, No. 10, p. 54, fig. 7.

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