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Zhou Dyn. Chinese 3-Wheel Bronze Dragon Offering Bowl/Basin! with Translation!

$115,200.00 or Best Offer 3d, $150.00 Shipping, 14-Day Returns

Seller: houghton-usa (1,298) 100%, Location: Sequim, Washington, Ships to: US, Item: 262712277527 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Description: Ritual Dragon Shallow Water Basin (Pan) on Three Wheels Material: Cast Bronze/Copper Alloy Est. Date: Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770—221 B.C.) App. Size: Overall length 32 cm (15") x 96 cm (3.75") tall. Bowl is 255 mm (10") in diameter Weight: 2.72 kg (6.0 lb.) Origin: Jiangsu Province, China Provenance: Ex private collections in Beijing, Hong Kong, & USA Condition: Heavy green bronze oxidation, encrustation, and weathering, especially on the both the inside and outside of the bowl from burial. Professional cleaning by previous owner has removed some of the exterior encrustation to revel the intricate designs on the outside of the bowl and Chinese characters found on the inside of the bowl.DETAILS This museum quality, ritual, bronze, water bowl on three wheels dates to approximately the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770—221 BC) and is presented to the gods by two, crested dragons symbolically pushing the bowl (called a pan in Chinese only by virtue of its shallow bowl). A similar example was excavated in 1957, Yancheng Province, Jiangsu Province, and is on display at the famous National Museum of China, Dongcheng District, Beijing. Authentic examples such as this one are extremely RARE! This is the first time this ancient treasure has been offered for sale in the United States. It was recently obtained at an estate auction from a private collector in Hong Kong, who previously lived in Beijing. REF: “The Bronze Age of China” edited by Wen Fong, published by the MET in 1980, pg. 265 & color plate # 65 on pg. 272. Although published in 1980 by the MET, this book is a treasure to own and a wonderful reference book for the advanced, private collector. I have translated into English as many of the ancient Ku'wen Chinese characters that I can read in the details below. Condition & Details The ancient Chinese worshiped the Spirits with fanatic zeal and this cast, bronze, shallow water bowl epitomizes this devotion. This ritual, bronze bowl or pan would have contained water likely collected from the morning dew or mountain springs, as that water was thought to have come directly from the gods. Bronze production in ancient China was strictly controlled by the elite class and ritual items such as this bowl would only have been commissioned by the very powerful, ruling warlords and elite. This vessel is carried on a three-wheeled carriage by two, single-crested dragons—the style of dragon that was popular in both the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. Dragons represented the symbolism of water as recorded in the 5th century BC by the Kaogongji, an ancient text concerning building and crafts from the state of Qi states the following: “Water by the dragon, mountains by the roebuck, fire by the circle.” Although the Kaogongji dates to the late Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, this concept of dragons being associated with water originated in antiquity. Eastern Zhou bronzes like this one were made using what is called a piece-mold- technique of casting in which various pieces were separately cast and then assembled by expert craftsman and finished. This example is in very good to excellent, museum quality condition with no apparent repairs or restorations. It does have a very heavy patina of bronze oxidation/encrustation on the underside of the base and some light earthen deposits inside the cast bronze dragon heads. Museums and modern archeological studies usually use the general term “copper alloy” instead of just the term “bronze” to describe these ancient treasures, as many other elements (such as tin, lead, zinc, iron, and even arsenic) were added to the copper to form different strengths of types of bronze items. Ancient bronze artifacts such as this water bowl are probably about 80% copper and 20% tin, while modern bronze is closer to 88% copper and 12% tin. This water bowl has a beautiful, old patina with clear signs of oxidation of the two main elements (tin and copper) that make up this exquisite ritual belt hook. One interesting property of bronze is that once it has oxidized superficially, a copper oxide layer is formed on the surface and essentially protects the object from further damaging corrosion. This protective layer turns in another compound, called copper carbonate for you scientists, that protects most bronze pieces from even corrosive saltwater. I have carefully examined this item under 10x magnification and it also shows authentic and original signs of weathering and ground contact that help to further authenticate it as an ancient piece. I Guarantee this ritual bronze bowl to be 100% authentic or your money back! You will not be disappointed! It is exceeding rare and museum quality ancient Chinese work of art. It has a wonderful old, patina that is absolutely fabulous: a greenish patina from the malachite in the surrounding soil, some dark red patina from the cuprite in the soil, and a bright blue color that is from the azurite in the soil. This combination of colors forms a fantastic patina that is typical of bronze that has been buried for over 2,000 years. Close examination with a microscope under natural and black light reveal it to be 100% authentic and piece cast by hand in a mold. Translation of Inscription/Dedication See photo # 3 for the partial inscription, which contains details of the dedication on this lovely vessel. The inscription is located on the inside of the vessel when it was professionally cleaned in Hong Kong. There appear to be approximately 9 rows and 9 columns of compound, Ku’wen characters for a total of 81 characters. I can partially make out about 26 of the total of 81 Ku’wen Chinese characters, but it appears that several characters are still covered under a thick encrustation of bronze oxidation. I would love to see all the characters in the dedication, but I have not had the base professionally cleaned any further. Note: Similar period bronze vessels (pans) held by the National Museum of China— see the famous Guojizibai water vessel on their web page—have inscriptions of 110 characters in eight lines cast on the bottom and written in rhyming, four-character phrases. The inscription on this vessel appears to state that this bronze vessel is an offering to the gods and spirit ancestors to allow the departed Spirit to enter Heaven (Tien in Chinese). I have attempted to translate some of the 26 visible Chinese characters into English. My apologies for any translations errors as the characters are very difficult to read and my translation skills have been abridged by time. Here is a literal translation of the 26 characters I have observed—starting from the upper right hand corner and working down the column: 1. Nobel man/father 2. To weep over the dead 3. {the name of the deceased?} 4. Highest leader/father 5. Speaking Symmetrically? 6. Sun? 7. Standing ancestor or Son’s offering to the Heavens 8. A Child Enters into Heaven 9. {unknown character} 10. A hollowed out vessel presented in an Ancestral Hall 11. Water filled by hand 12. A man’s Spirit trying to get to Heaven 13. “Yung” a bronze vessel that contains offerings to their Ancestor 14. To grow or progress the journey 15. To see the Moon or Heavens with one’s eye 16. A tree 17. Speaking the name of a city? 18. Day 19. Ruler/Warlord/Emperor 20. “Huang” Symbol of the 3 Emperors 21. Field or Lands owned by the father 22. It is 23. “Cheng” To arrive in Heaven (Tien) 24. To offer this gift to the whirling Spirit/Ghost 25. To offer this vessel to the Gods & Ancestors 26. Offering of a gift to Heaven Gift of Money In summary, the partial translation of the inscription found of the base of this bronze water vessel could be literally translated as follows: “...The Son offers this ritual, bronze water vessel as a gift to favor the gods and ancestors in Heaven that they may guide his father’s Spirit into Heaven.” As one can see, this bronze water vessel was certainly a ritual offering by the son of the deceased to the gods and ancestors upon the death of his father--a noble/elite person. Perhaps the most informative character is one character, Yung in Chinese (see # 13 above), that represents a bronze vessel that contains offerings to their ancestors. This Yung would have been placed in a memorial temple or tomb to insure the departed was welcomed into the afterlife. The shape of the character (similar to a # with a hooked, line through its center) was given the pictographic representation of a bronze tripod, but was also used to describe other bronze ex-voto vessels. {Ref: Chinese Characters, Dr. L. Wieger, pg. 260. On the outer sides of the water bowl, (see photos # 11-12) one of the decorations is actually a pictorialization of the character that means “brightness of fire.” When spoken rapidly, this graph and the name of the fire spirit Zhurong sound the same—a rebus if you will. Experts state that merely to explain the significance of this kind of decoration is extremely difficult—to understand it completely is impossible. In general, these images are primeval conceptions that suggest the power of gods that can determine who will live, who will die, and who will enjoy eternity. When used on vessels like this example, they are powerful symbols that are demonstrative and intense. Expert Observations of Ancient Bronze Vessels Chinese bronze pieces have interested Chinese over millenniums because they are regarded as one of the most ancient arts, if not the only art that was created at the time, says Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby's vice-chairman of Asian art. "Created in a very durable material, they were able to survive to the present day and in many cases in remarkable conditions." Chinese bronzes of the archaic period (1900-221 BC) were often one-of-a-kind, says Wang. Until the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), they were cast in ceramic piece-molds, rather than wax casting. Despite the complexity of the designs, the casting was done in a single cast, one of the highest craft achievements in Chinese art history. The bronzes from the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC) onward are worth noting because they have lengthy descriptions applied to the pieces, says Howard-Sneyd. "The reason that is important is because in many cases, these are the only historical documents, or sometimes the only historical proof of an event happening or a person being at a particular time." CONDITION Museums and modern archeological studies usually use the general term “copper alloy” instead of just the term “bronze” to describe these ancient treasures, as many other elements (such as tin, lead, zinc, iron, and even arsenic) were added to the copper to form different strengths of types of bronze items. Ancient bronze artifacts such as this bowl are probably about 80% copper and 20% tin, while modern bronze is closer to 88% copper and 12% tin. It has a wonderful old, patina that is absolutely fabulous: a greenish patina from the malachite in the surrounding soil and some dark red patina from the cupite and iron in the soil. This combination of colors forms a fantastic patina that is typical of bronze that has been buried for over 2,000 years. Close examination with a microscope under natural and black light reveal it to be 100% authentic and cast by hand in a sand mold. One interesting property of bronze is that once it has oxidized superficially, a copper oxide layer is formed on the surface and essentially protects the object from further damaging corrosion. This protective layer turns in another compound, called copper carbonate for you scientists out there, which protects most bronze pieces from further corrosion. I have carefully examined this water basin under magnification and it shows authentic and original signs of weathering and ground contact that help to further authenticate it as an ancient piece. It shows green oxidation, pitting and erosion on both sides, especially on the the bowl's bottom. It is a wonderful piece and would look great displayed next to your other fine ancient Chinese jade and bronze pieces! It would also make a fantastic gift for that special occasion or business partner! ESTIMATED VALUE This fabulous Dragon Water Basin has an auction appraisal estimate of US $350,000--$500,000. Vessels like this one are VERY RARE and recent buyers from China have pushed realize auction prices much higher than the estimates. It will come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) from my personal hand and details of my translation of the inscription. It is a wonderful piece and would look great displayed next to your other fine ancient Chinese jade and bronze pieces! Please examine the photos taken indoors carefully as they are part of the description. And please ask any questions before you buy. I can provide additional photos if necessary. Thanks! Please ask any questions you may have before you bid! Thanks for Looking! Per e-Bay's rules, PayPal only please! All Sales are Final! THANKS! SHIPPING cost includes Insurance and is accurate for all 50 United States.International buyers are, of course, responsible for all shipping, insurance, import fees and excise taxes. Sorry, but Washington State residents are required to pay the state sales tax. Thanks... Condition: This RARE Chinese Dragon Water Basis is pulled by two, fierce Dragons and dates to about the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. It is a fantastic work of Chinese craftsmanship with an original and authentic patina of encrusted bronze on this over 2,000 year-old bronze water basin that measures about 10" or 255 mm in diameter and weighs 6 pounds. Heavy green bronze oxidation, encrustation, and weathering, especially on the both the inside and outside of the bowl from burial. Professional cleaning by previous owner has removed some of the exterior encrustation to revel the intricate designs and Chinese characters found on the bowl. Please see photos and bid accordingly. Thank You!, Color: Oxidized Bronze, Type: Water Basin, Primary Material: Bronze, Age: c. Zhou Dyn., Region of Origin: China, Original/Reproduction: Original

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