A CHINESE BRONZE RITUAL TRIPOD FOOD VESSEL, LI.
Early Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century BC.
The rounded body supported on three hollow legs rising into three clustered bulbous swells each surmounted by plain arched flanges, decorated overall with vertical ribbing up to two raised horizontal bands encircling the body, a waisted neck flaring to a flat rim, the top of which inscribed in archaic script with a 24 character inscription, zhui shi you er nian zhengyue chu ji zhou bai fu zuo zun ge qi wannian zisun yong bao yong xiang, 15.3cm diameter, 964g, boxed. (2)
Provenance: an English private collection, the fitted box inscribed with the collector's name and dated "195*", acquired in the 1950s, thence by descent to the present owner.
Li is a common vessel during Western Zhou, decorations of this kind are found in Illustrated Catalogue of Antique Objects from the Xuanhe Hall, the maker of this vessel is named zhou bofu, a very common name on Western Zhou antiques. According to Book of Rites: 'when the surname is Zhou, same as the Emperor's, the person should be called bofu (uncle)'. The inscription states that this vessel was made by a relative of the Emperor in January of the twelfth year of a reign with the hope of it being used by many generations after.
Sold for £7,500
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