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Subject:Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Wed, Sep 20, 2023 IP:

Would really appreciate your input on this heavy (18 pounds) bronze vessel!


Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Thu, Sep 21, 2023

Bird-like (?) with mammal-look alike ears as handles (?)
Texture to the base surface is smooth.
Was told that it is "Oriental" !?

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Resembling Phoenix head ? (As shown below - source: Bronze Age China: Phoenix Kingdoms)

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Aaron at APEX Antiques Thu, Oct 05, 2023

As pointed out above, this piece was not crafted using "Lost Sand Casting" or similar one-of-a-kind methods, rather a multi-piece mold was made (possibly originally cast of an older item?) suggesting this was "Manufactured" rather than "Crafted".
That doesn't make it not old, nor does it mean it has no value. Modern manufacturing techniques (as here) date back to the early 19th Century (not reflective of supposed date, just a fact)
A piece such as this was clearly made for the export market as there is no cohesive style, but rather a collection of figures from various periods and styles put together to appear "Exotic" to the Western Market.
From that perspective, it does have a decorative value, especially if it is as large as it appears to be. Many designers would love this kind of piece to add a touch of the East to an interior!

I would say the one in the link may be the original

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Thu, Oct 05, 2023

Thanks very much Aaron for your time and kind help with the input on the item 🙏😊🙏
If I understand your comment correctly, there might have been a misunderstanding, since the vessel in question is the one in the very first picture, and with details in the subsequent ones - NOT the posted “manufactured” elaborated one with incohesive theme and multi-parts, as you suggested! I showed that picture just to reference the resemblance in the bird head feature between the vessel I have and the pictured one. In fact, the commented “manufactured” one is the exact same image of the one that you thought being the “original from the referencing link!
Again, thanks very much for your time and the effort to help 🙏❤️🙏

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Aaron at APEX Antiques Fri, Oct 06, 2023

Though I see where & why I misunderstood the first time, I would still draw your attention to the "two-part" form of the mold used to create your piece.
As I mentioned, my opinion regarding its age is irrelevant, the only way you get a definitive answer on the age of your piece (as opposed to other people's opinions) is to have it examined by a institution with specialist equipment that can assess these matters scientifically. This would likely prove prohibitively expensive and thus you are left with "decorative value".

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Sat, Oct 07, 2023

Much appreciated your experience and practical advice Aaron 🙏😊🙏
On this vessel, with primitive bird-like feature -predecessor of the Phoenix ?- combined with suggestive evidence of piece-mold casting - which is unique to China Bronze- makes it an intriguing study object, at least in my opinion- thus the questions.
While, for biological research purpose, I used to perform the relevant instruments for the case here electron microscopy (EM) and mass-spectrometry (MS) routinely, and my long time colleague runs NMR facility at our institution, I am no expert on Bronze and would not know what to look in terms of EM: cast microstructure and MS: clay core chemical composition analysis to get to a definitive answer!
Time will tell if it warrants the interest and effort to reach out to a few of the experts on the subject at Harvard, or I will just leave it to my children to figure out what they want to do with it😆

Subject:Re: Bronze vessel
Posted By: Tony W. Sun, Sep 24, 2023

Not sure what casting technique it was …
Referencing the “handles” as left and right sides, there is a groove to the inner leaf of the vessel, along the edge of the coronal /frontal plan as can be seen here. This is suggestive / indicative that the groove was due to the presence of the core attaching to the 2 halves of the mold, in the piece-mold casting process ? | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |