Art/Auctions logo

Magnificent Ritual Bronzes from the Eberhardt Collection

Sotheby's New York

Part 1

10 A.M., September 17, 2013 Lots 1-11


Western Zhou

Lot 3, the Zuo Bao Yi Gui, ritual food vessel, bronze, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 9 7/8 inches high

The highlight of the "magnificent" ritual bronzes auction from the collection of Julius Eberhardt at Sotheby's New York September 17, 2013 is Lot 3, the Zuo Bao Yi Gui, a bronze ritual food vessel from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 9 7/8 inches high.  It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $6,661,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.  

All 10 offered lots sold for a total of $16,786,000, almost four times the low estimate.

Dr. Wang  Tao, head of  Chinese Works ofArt at Sotheby's, New York, said "we are thrilled to have opened our week of Asian  Art sales with the tremendous success of the $16.8 million White Glove Eberhardt auction."  "Collectors from around the world were drawn to this collection of just ten masterpieces which all sold to total nearly $17 million.  Together, they represent the most important gorup of Chinese archaic bronzes to have appeared at auction since the Albright-Knox sale at Sotheby's in 2007 and have taken their place as one of the landmark auctions in the field," he said.



Liuding

Lot 6, Tripod pouring vessel with cover (Liu Ding), Early Spring and Autumn Period, 8th-7th Century B.C., 4 7/8 inches long

Lot 6 is an excellent tripod pourting vessel with cover (Liu Ding) from the Early Spring and Autumn Period, 8th-7th Century B.C.  It is 4 7/8 inches long.  It was formerly in the collections of Walter Hochstadter and J. J. Lally & Co.  The catalogue entry states that it "belongs to the category of nongqi (playful vessels), which were made for the personal enjoyment of high-ranking aristocrats.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  It sold for $1,325,000.


Large wine vessel


Lot 5, the Mu Xin Zun, wine vessel, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 10 inches high

Lot 5 is the Mu Xin Zun, a "superb and very rare" bronze wine vessel from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 10 inches high and of cylindrical form with four notched flanges down the sides and elegantly cast with taotie masks on the foot flanked by dragons and a middle section of confronted birds with curled crests, beaks and tails all below the flaring neck with a collar band of curly dragons and four upright blades.  The catalogue notes there is only one similar vessel that is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The lot was once in the collection of Pan Zuyin, T.Y King of Shanghai, H. E. Alexandre J. Agryropoulos and J. J. Lally & Co., New York.  The lot has an estimate of $400,000 to  $600,000.  It sold for $2,165,000.


Two wine cups


Lot 7, The Fu Bing Jue, pair of bronze wine cups, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 inches high

Lot 7 is an "extremely rare  and very fine" pair of bronze wine cups, known as the Fu Bing Jue, from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  They are 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 inches high.  They were formerly with Chen Rentao, T. Y. King of Hong Kong, H. E. Alexandre J. Argyropoulos and J. J. Lally & Co.  The catalogue entry maintains that their "baroque" silhouette appears to be virtually unparalleled in this type. The lot has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $1,445,000.

wine cup


Lot 2, wine cup, bronze, jue, Late Shang Dynasty, 12th-11th Century B.C., 10 inches high

Lot 2 is a Late Shang Dynasty, 12th-11th Century B.C., bronze wine cup (jue).  It is 10 inches high and has taotie masks cast on each side in high relief with rounded eyes, angular horns and slim bodies and the loop handle on one side issues from a bovine head.  It was formerly in the collections of T. Y. King of Shanghai, H. E. Alexandre J. Argyropoulos and J. J. Lally & Co., New York.  It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $425,000.


Taotie

Lot 10, Taotie mask, bronze, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 9 inches wide

Lot 10 is a fine bronze taotie mask from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 9 inches wide. The catalogue nlotes that "recent scholarship suggests that this type of taotie mask was used as a decorative frontlet mounted on the forehead of a chariot horse possibly to demonstrate the magical power of the rider."  It also states that an almost identical mask is in the collection of the Honolulu Academy of Arts.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000.  It sold for $341,000.


Cone

Lot 4, fitting, bronze, mao, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.D., 2 7/8 inches high

Lot 5 is a fine Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., bronze fitting, mao, that is 2 7/8 inches high.  The domed top is cast with a whorl pattern of feathers with two birds' eyes suggesting a stylized bird motif and the sides finely cast with two confronted birds.  The object's diamond-shaped punctures originally with inlays are now all covered with dark silver patina and malachite encrustation.  The object has an impressive provenance and was once in the collections of Bernard Berenson, the legendary art historian of Italian Renaissance paintings, Adolphe Stoclet, Brussels, a famous art collector, Eskenazi Ltd., of London, The British Rail Pension Fund, and the Sze Yuan Tang Collection.  It was sold at Christie's New York September 16, 2010.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000.  It sold for $437,000.

Zuo Ce Huan You

Lot 8, Zuo Ce HuanYou, wine vessel, bronze, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 10th Century B.C., 9 5/8 inches high

Lot 8 is the Zuo Ce Huan You, an important bronze wine vessel from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 10th Century.  It is 9 5/8 inches high.  It was formerly wioth Wu Shifen, Pan Zuyin, T. Y. King,  H. E. Alexandre J. Argyropoulos and J. J. Lally & Co.  The catalogue entry notes that "differing from the Western collectors' usual taste for form and ornamentation, the traditional Chinese collectors of archaic bronzes are primarily drawn to inscriptions cast onto the bronze vessels.  It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.  It sold for $3,077,000.

Use the Search Box below to quickly look up articles at this site on specific artists, architects, authors, buildings and other subjects

Home Page of The City Review