Subject:Re: Shang Dynasty Ritual Wine Vessel (Jue)?
Posted By: Miano Tue, Oct 31, 2017
1.) This is a ritual wine vessel (called jue). What are the dimensions of your piece? Does it have any character inscription?
I noticed the worn-out curved handle surmounted by a bovine mask which is similar to the Lot 1215 of the Christies Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction held on 21 - 22 March 2013 in New York. This is a unique feature of vessels of the Shang dynasty period (1600-1050 BCE) as all/most of the early Bronze Age in China (2000-1750 BCE to 500 BCE) pieces had surface decorations consisting of composite or wholly imaginary animals.
You need to look for two taotie masks separated by narrow flanges on the underside of the spout and tail. It is a composite dragon-like animal whose body has been split down the middle and splayed out on both sides of the head. The head of the taotie has large eyes, horns, and a gaping mouth; the body at times has only a pair of legs.
Consistent with the Late Shang dynasty period are the 2 posts with rounded caps rising from the rim and the patinated surface (green color similar to oxidized pennies with copper acetate).
2.) This is a ritual wine vessel (called Fangyi). What are the dimensions of your piece? Does it have any character inscription?
Your Fangyi is quite interesting. Unlike normal ones, your piece does not have the crevice at the center bottom that provides symmetry to the taotie display. However, the inclusion of the 2 imaginary animals confronted on the foot (bottom of the taotie) and similar pair of confronted imaginary animals above (top on the lid).
Consistent with the Early Western Zhou period are the notched flanges repeated at the corners and the patinated surface (green color similar to oxidized pennies with copper acetate). Importantly,the Fangyi of this period have no crevices at the bottom.