Lot 315 , A Chinese archaic bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, You, late Shang/early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th century B.C., 22cm high, repair

A Chinese archaic bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, You, late Shang/early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th century B.C., 22cm high, repair

A Chinese archaic bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, You, early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century B.C., cast in relief with bands of phoenixes, bovine masks and leiwen, the swing handle with prominent tapir-head terminals, three character pictographic 'elephant' clan mark to underside of cover and interior of vessel, grey and dark brown patina with some areas of verdigris, 22cm high, repairs
Estimate £600-800

This vessel is similar in form to the Zhao you, attributed to the reign of King Zhao (circa 977/975-957 BC), in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Shanghai Bowuguan cang qingtongqi [Ancient bronzes in the Shanghai Museum], Shanghai, 1964, pl. 38.

For similar ritual vessels sold at auction see Sotheby's, New York, Important Chinese Art, 13 May 2015, Lot 101, the 'Zuo Ce Huan You' at Sotheby's, New York, 'Magnificent Ritual Bronzes', 17 September 2013, Lot 8 and Christie's, New York, Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 21 - 22 March 2013, Lot 1129.

Provenance: the estate of the late Jean-Claude Jean-Claude (1926-2016).

Jean-Claude Lepileur was a man of great learning. Born in Lisieux in France, he became a buyer and seller of antiques and formed a partnership with Mrs Senta Christian in a joint antiques venture, travelling to and from England from their early base in Deauville in Normandy. Mr Lepileur was a self-taught historian, chemist and restorer, with a particular love of all things Asian, especially pieces of art from China. And more specifically ancient Chinese bronze artefacts, which he collected avidly all his life.

Mr Lepileur and Mrs Christian moved their business to Finchley in London in the 1950s and they continued to operate as a partnership until 1996, when Mrs Christian passed away. Jean-Claude had a very discerning eye for art and at one point even managed to identify two original Rembrandt sketches for sale on a stall on Portobello Market and was able to purchase them for a few pounds. They were later fully authenticated by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Mr Lepileur was also a frequent visitor to the British Museum in those days as he was always keen to compare his latest Chinese bronze acquisitions with those in the collection of the museum. During his life he amassed a collection of some eighty bronzes and a number of ceramics, pictures and scrolls. He also collected over 60 reference books, many of them very detailed, which he used to assist him with his research. Mr Lepileur was still buying and selling up until his death in December last year, aged 90.

The collection is presented complete, with no omissions and is a great tribute to his skill in identifying, researching and collecting some wonderful pieces of Chinese art.

There are old patch repairs to the top of the cover and around the sides of the vessel. The metal is a little thin around the edge of the foot, otherwise in reasonable condition.

Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Gorringes Conditions of Sale.

Sold for £1,900