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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Chinese Han Gilded Bronze Sword Pommel with Jade

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LOT 0424

GBP (£) 20,000 - 30,000
EUR (€) 22,410 - 33,610
USD ($) 24,510 - 36,760

Opening Bid
£18,000 (EUR 20,168; USD 22,058) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

HAN DYNASTY, 206 B.C.-220 A.D.
3 in. (387 grams, 76 mm).

A gilt bronze sword pommel composed of a discoid body and cylindrical socket pierced twice for attachment (one piercing occluded); a circumferential zoomorphic frieze in raised relief to the exterior, displaying a procession of vegetal forms alternating with real and mythical creatures, each with stylised anatomical detailing: a monkey; a fenghuang; a leopard (or other feline); a tiger; set with a moonstone quality khotain jade roundel, carved in high-relief with two sinuous fantastical beasts, swirling clouds in the field; some restoration.

Acquired from Dandelion Fine Arts, Hollywood Road, Hong Kong, 1970s.
Ex Prof. David Anderson collection.
UK private collection, circa 2010.

Accompanied by a copy of metallurgic analytical results, written by Metallurgist Dr Peter Northover (ex Department of Materials, Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group & Department of Materials, University of Oxford).
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11706-198359

Cf. Hebei Provincial Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation, 'gilt bronze finial with jade inlaid', for a very similar object from the Western Han Dynasty, excavated from the tomb of a prince.

Khotain jade was available between the years 69 B.C. and 101 A.D. as a result of a military treaty. It was sourced from the White Jade River.

This object is believed to be produced for a notable client, possibly even a royal one given the item's similarity to a finial excavated from the tomb of a Prince of Zhongshan. The object's original patina, prior to restoration, suggested that the vessel was part of a ritual which involved exposure to intense heat.