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Ben Janssens Oriental Art

Pair of bronze ritual wine vessels (fang hu)
China, eastern Zhou dynasty, late Spring and Autumn Period,
6th – 5th century BC
Height: 17 1/4 inches, 44 cm.

A pair of bronze wine vessels, each with a squared, baluster shaped body supported on a tall, flared foot. The neck flares outwards, towards a stepped top, which ends in a galleried rim. To either side of the neck is a C-shaped handle, issuing from a well-modelled, snub-nosed monster mask, which has pronounced antlers, ears and bulging eyes. From each handle is suspended a flat, disc-shaped ring handle, which is cast with archaistic strapwork in low relief. The main body of each vessel is divided into square sections by ribbon-like raised ridges, which rise to a point on the cross sections. Each panel is cast with a decoration of low-relief dragon-birds, which together form bold taotie masks, all on a ground of tight key-fret pattern. Both vessels have an attractive malachite patina with small areas of azurite.

all text & images © Ben Janssens Oriental Art

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