A bronze ritual food vessel, gui, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 12th-11th century BC. Estimate $40,000 – $60,000. Price Realized $317,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2014
The body is cast with a band of narrow vertical ribs below a band of long-tailed birds confronted on a simplified mask and reserved on a leiwen ground, interrupted by two animal masks which surmount the handles cast in intaglio on the sides with scrolls and terminating below in a tab cast as a claw. A similar bird band encircles the high foot. A two-character inscription, yong bao, ‘treasured forever’, is cast below the rim on the interior. The bronze has a mottled, dark grey patina with areas of malachite encrustation. 10¾ in. (27.2 cm.) across handles.
Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong, 3 August 1994.
Property from a Private Connecticut Collection
Notes: A very similar gui, cast with dragons rather than long-tailed birds, was sold at Christie’s New York, 14 September 2009, lot 3.
Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 – 19 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.