Ku or wine vessel (one of a pair with 8.25) in bronze. Made in China, 1st phase, Shang Dynasty.
h: 10 in; diam of mouth: 5 3/4 in; diam base: 3 3/8 in
Said to have been excavated at Anyang; Bluett & Sons, dealer; from whom purchased by Sir William Burrell, 26 January 1943, £200 (pair with 8_25); by whom gifted to the Corporation of the City of Glasgow, 1944.
Bluett & Sons, Sales Day Book 18/68, 25 January 1943, commission reference MB234: ‘Pair of bronze Ku’.
Sir William Burrell, Purchase Book 1943 p.42: ‘A pair of ancient Chinese bronze goblets for sacrificial wine- ku- said to be intended for use in the banquet offered in the Hsiang or district school, the wine being dedicated to the spirit of the ancestors. The upper part of each vessel is decorated in relief with rising blades, a form said to have been originated in the cicada. Round the centre is a typical spiral band. Beneath is broader band with segmented flanges on either side of which are vertical dragons which together form the Tao-t'ieh or monsterhead decoration. The spreading foot has similar ornament. Under the foot of each vessel is a deeply incised character in the ancient script. This pair of "ku" is said to have been excavated at An-yang, the ancient capital of the Shang. It belongs to the first stylistic phase and is an example of the Shang-Yin period 1766-1122BC. Height 10 inches. Note - the parts of the description which are underlined refer to ornament which is typical of the first stylistic phase and is seldom, if ever, found on genuine examples of later date’.