19 September 2023, 14:21

Rare and significant Western Zhou Dynasty bronze vessels at Sotheby's auction

Rare and significant Western Zhou Dynasty bronze vessels at Sotheby's auction
The majestic bronze ritual vessels known as Luo Ji Gui are a pair of archaic bronze food stands (Fang Zuo Gui) from the early period of the Western Zhou Dynasty, during the reign of King Zhao.
Bronze Guiyas with square pedestals were a unique invention of the Zhou Dynasty. This particular form of bronze most likely developed from the early Western Zhou Dynasty tradition of placing ritual vessels on special bronze platforms called "jin" (禁) to raise the vessels used in ceremonies.
Although bronze Gui with square pedestals have been found in various provinces, including Shanxi, Gansu, Henan, Shandong and Liaoning, archaeological evidence indicates that this particular form of Gui most likely originated from the present-day Shanxi province. where significantly more examples of the early Western Zhou Dynasty have been discovered.
This Gui form was usually only found in important tombs of the Zhou kings, nobles and wealthy members of the time, demonstrating the importance of this ritual bronze form and the high social status of their owners.

The actual pair of Gui each bear the same eleven-character inscription identifying the owner of the vessels as Luo Ji 𩂣姬. The first character, "luo", indicates the state in which she was married. The second character, "ji", which was a surname in the royal court of the Zhou Dynasty, indicates her noble origin.
In ancient China, women who were able to commission ritual bronzes for personal use must have had a prominent social position in their family, such as the first wife of a sovereign or clan leader.
This pair of Luo Ji Gui has outstanding historical and archaeological value as they represent rare and important artifacts from ancient Chinese history. Given their rarity, historical importance, and quality of workmanship, these bronze vessels are valued at between $800,000 and $1,200,000.
If you would like to look at these artifacts in more detail or participate in the auction, go to the auction.

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