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Important Chinese Archaic Bronzes from a Distinguished Private Collection

Christie's New York

Sale 3439

10AM, September 19, 2013

Wine vessel

Lot 1105, Important and very rare  bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, fangyi, late Shang Dynasty, 11th Century B.C., 8 5/8 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

The September 19, 2013 auction at Christie's New York of an Important Chinese Archaic Bronzes from a Distinguished Private Collection contained only 16 lots, all of which sold for a total of $6,269,000.

The highlight of the auction is Lot 1105, an "important and very rare" bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, fangyi, from the late Shang Dynasty, 11th Century B.C.  It is 8 5/8 inches high and has a very smooth and seemingly soft dark brown patina.  The lot was the cover illustration of the catalogue.  It was formerly in the Richard C. Bull Collection, Eskenazi of London and the Bella and P. P. Chiu Collection, and again Eskenazi.  It has an estimate on request and sold for $2,363,750.

After the auction, Michael Bass, the head of Christie's Department of Chinese works of art, said: “Outstanding results were achieved at Christie’s New York for a rich diversity of Chinese works of art, including archaic bronzes, fine jade carvings, classical furniture and ceramics. All three sales realized outstanding sold-through rates, which, together with a packed sale room, affirmed the depth of the market. The sale of Important Chinese Archaic Bronzes from a Distinguished Private Collection was 100% sold and set the tone for the rest of the sales.


archaic vessel 1
Lot 1103, "Superbly cast bronze ritual food vessel," liding, Late Shang Dynasty, 11th Century B.C., 8 1/2 inches high

The back-cover illustration of the catalogue was Lot 1103, a "superbly" cast bronze ritual food vessel, liding, also from the Late Shang Dynasty, 11th Century B.C.  It is8 1/2 inches high.  It was formerly in the collections of the Akron (Ohio) Art Museum, Eskenazi of London, the Bella and P. P. Chiu Collection and Eskenazi again. It is in excellent condition and similiar lidings are in the Freer Collection and the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The lot has a modest estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.  It sold for $1,563,750.

Cup

Lot 1101, "unusual" bronze ritual wine vessel, Late Shang Dynasty, Anyang Period, 12th-11th Century B.C., gu, 11 3/8 inches

Lot 1101 is a fine and "unusual" bronze ritual wine vessel of the Late Shang Dynasty, Anyang Period, 12th-11th Century B.C.  It is 11 3/8 inches high.  The catalogue notes that the "trumpet-shaped neck is decorated with four upright blades cast in relief with inverted and attenuated taotie masks...and bisected by slender flanges that also separate the four cicadas in a band below. A similar work is in the collection of the Crown Prince of Sweden.  The lot has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $219,750.


wine vessel

Lot 1107, "fine and rare" bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, you, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C, 13 3/4 inches high


Lot 1107 is a "fine and rare" bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, you, from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 13 3/4 inches high.  Its arched handle has dragons separated by diamond studs and terminates at either end with bottle-horn dragon heads attached by loops to lugs projecting from the vessel's body near where a band of paired segmented dragons are joined by a single annimal head.  The lot has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.  It sold for  $543,750.  A similar vessel is in the Arthur M. Sackler Collection and the Shanghai Museum.

Frog

Lot 1111 is a rare water pot and dropper in the form of a frog from the Eastern Han Dynasty, A. D.25-220.  It is five inches long.

Lot 111 is a rare water pot and dropper in the form of a frog from the Eastern Han Dynasty, A.D. 25-220.  It is five inches long and has a leaf-shaped cup below its mouth and a pair of short tubes rising up from behind the front legs. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $18,000. It sold for $15,000.


Tiger belt  

Lot 1109, "unusual" bronze belt  hook in the form of a tiger, North or Northeast China, 6th-4th Century B.C., 7 1/8 inches long

Lot 1109 is an unusual bronze belt hook in the form of a tiger from North or Northeast China, 6th-4th Century B.C.  It is 7 1/8 inches long. It has a modest estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $6,875.


Belt hook


Lot 1112, Bronze tiger belt hook, North or Northeast China, 6th Century B.C., 5 1/8 inches long

Lot 1112 is a fine bronze belt hook in the form of a tiger from North or Northeast China.  It is dated to the 6th Century B.C., and is 5 5/18 inches long. It has a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.  It sold for $4,375.


finial

Lot 1114, "rare" gold andsilver inlaid bronze ceremonial finial, Late Warring States Period, 4th-3rd Century B.C., 4 7/8 inches long

Lot 1114 is a fine, "rare" gold and silver inlaid bronze ceremonial finial from the Late Warring States Period, 4th-3rd Century B.C. It is4 7/8 inches long and has extensive malachite and some azurite encrustation that give it an alluring and colorful charm,.  The finail is decorated with an openwork dragon biting the curved end of the blade while standing atop a bird facing the opposite direction as it grips the ovoid socket with its feathered legs and talons. It has a modest estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $8,750.

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