Ji Yu Zi Jun archaic bronze vessel sells for $1.2m at Sotheby's

The Ji Yu Zi Jun vessel, a rare Chinese archaic bronze, has sold for $1.2m in New York.

The lot led an auction dedicated to ancient bronze work at Sotheby's on March 18, achieving an increase of 216.2% on a $400,000 estimate.

It was created during the late Shang dynasty in the 13th-11th century BC and displays the traditional taoite masks that commonly adorn bronzes of the era, along with fangs and claws.

Shang dynasty archaic bronze vessel
The Ji Yu Zi Zun vessel is one of two examples that display similar designs

It was formerly owned by Wu Dacheng (1835-1902), a leading official in the court of the Qing emperor who owned a sizable collection of ancient bronzes.

A scroll belonging to him, which features notes on his extensive collection along with rubbings from the works he owned, made $605,000 against a $150,000 estimate - an increase of 303.3%.

A Zhong Fu Fu Gui bronze ritual food vessel dating to the 11th-10th century BC was another top lot.

It achieved an increase of 264.1% on a $120,000 valuation when it sold for $437,000.

The piece is one of a handful that were studied extensively during the Qianlong and Jiaqing periods (18th-19th century), resulting in a wealth of academic material associated with it.

The auction proved a strong start to Asia Week in New York, achieving total sales figures of $3.4m.

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