A large Chinese archaic bronze ritual
Schätzpreis: 4.000 £ - 6.000 £
ca. 5.346 $ - 8.019 $
Zuschlagspreis: 4.000 £
ca. 5.346 $
A large Chinese archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Gui, early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century B.C., cast in relief to the upper band with bovine masks, raised roundels and quatrefoil motifs, applied with a pair of zoomorphic handles, the band around the foot with kui dragons on a leiwen ground, gun metal grey patina with heavy malachite and cuprite encrustation, 14cm high, 26cm wide, old repairs Estimate £4,000-6,000 Literature: A very similar ritual bronze gui was sold by Nagel Auctions, 'Asian Art', 8th May 2009 which was formerly in the Earl Morse collection, exhibited Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, 'The Morse Collection of Ancient Chinese Art', 1982, publ. in the catalogue p. 28, no. 13. Also similar in form is the Zhong Zhi Fu Gui sold by Sotheby's, New York, 'Archaic Bronzes and the Wu Dacheng Jijintu Scroll', 18 March 2014 which bears an inscription dating the vessel to the early Western Zhou Dynasty (11th-10th Century B.C.) Compare the Cheng Wang gui in the British Museum, accession no. 1977,0404.1 which has a similar band of alternating roundels and quatrefoils below the rim and around the foot and is firmly dated to the reign of Cheng Wang (1115BC-1077BC) Provenance: the estate of the late Jean-Claude Jean-Claude (1926-2016). Jean-Claude Lepileur was a man of great learning. Born in Lisieux in France, he became a buyer and seller of antiques and formed a partnership with Mrs Senta Christian in a joint antiques venture, travelling to and from England from their early base in Deauville in Normandy. Mr Lepileur was a self-taught historian, chemist and restorer, with a particular love of all things Asian, especially pieces of art from China. And more specifically ancient Chinese bronze artefacts, which he collected avidly all his life. Mr Lepileur and Mrs Christian moved their business to Finchley in London in the 1950s and they continued to operate as a partnership until 1996, when Mrs Christian passed away. Jean-Claude had a very discerning eye for art and at one point even managed to identify two original Rembrandt sketches for sale on a stall on Portobello Market and was able to purchase them for a few pounds. They were later fully authenticated by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Mr Lepileur was also a frequent visitor to the British Museum in those days as he was always keen to compare his latest Chinese bronze acquisitions with those in the collection of the museum. During his life he amassed a collection of some eighty bronzes and a number of ceramics, pictures and scrolls. He also collected over 60 reference books, many of them very detailed, which he used to assist him with his research. Mr Lepileur was still buying and selling up until his death in December last year, aged 90. The collection is presented complete, with no omissions and is a great tribute to his skill in identifying, researching and collecting some wonderful pieces of Chinese art. Heavy encrustations and corrosion all over with old and toned repairs around both handles, across the body and around the join to the foot,. Some old solder around the foot. The age and patination of the repairs would indicate this vessel was excavated in the Qing dynasty if not earlier.
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