Middle Western Zhou Dynasty, 9th Century B.C.
with wide flaring plain rim, the body divided into three wide lobes tapering down to slender columnar legs, cast with densely packed narrow slanting ridges all around the sides, highlighted by a black ground between the ridges, and with a thick wedge-shaped vertical flange projecting above each leg, the surface showing lightly encrusted malachite green patina over a reddish cuprite underlayer and with charcoal-black encrustation on the base.
Height 6 3⁄8 inches (16.2 cm)
A bronze li tripod vessel of very similar form and design in the collection of National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated by Hayashi in In Shū jidai seidōki no kenkyū (Study of the Yin and Zhou Bronze Vessels), Vol. I, Tokyo, 1984, p. 64, no. 33.
An archaic bronze li of related shape, formerly in the collection of Mrs. Christian Holmes, New York, and now in the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C., is illustrated by Rawson in Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Vol. IIB, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 320-323, no. 27, together with a Western Zhou pottery li tripod of similar design in the British Museum, ibid, p. 322, fig. 27.3. Rawson suggests that bronze li tripods of this kind were based on Western Zhou pottery prototypes.
Another bronze li tripod of related form, with twin upright loop handles on the rim, is illustrated by Wang in Chinese Bronzes from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 2009, pp. 93-94, no. 94.
高 16.2 厘米