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Lot 1: LARGE ARCHAIC FANGHU
19 November 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Bronze with partial gilding. China, Han and Song Dynasty, 2nd to 10th century
An outstanding rarity is this very attractive hu vessel - the most widespread archaic vessel form similar to a vase – here in a rather edged variation known as fanghu. The tall foot has a quadratic base and four trapezoid walls. A similar, yet somewhat smaller design is repeated towards the mouth section. The body of the vase presents an elegant momentum which continues up along the entire neck. A taotie mask with some gilt areas is found on two of the vessel’s sides, their noses form eyelets suspending large rings. The other two walls each present a phoenix in raised relief, also suspending a ring, but from the body. The surface holds areas with a very pronounced patina which drastically adds to the overall effect of the vase along with the different-sized spots of gilding. On the not easily visible bottom of the inside is a quite large inscription with archaic characters (see photo). On the lower, strongly recessed bottom is a grid design in raised relief as well as green patina. In very good overall condition and complete, with noble age characteristics giving a powerful representative effect.
HEIGHT 40,5 CM
This fanghu was acquired by us at Spink & Son in London in 1994 before going to a larger collection. According to information from Spink at that time, this vessel originated in the Han Period and was reworked with a green lacquer patina and gilding during the Song, befitting for the veneration of antique objects at the time.
Illustrated in our catalog ASIATIKA from November-December 1994 on page 40 (No. 43)