A Chinese Archaistic bronze tripod ritual food vessel, Ming or Song, 16th century or earlier, of Ding form, the rounded cauldron bowl with twin handles, cast in relief with a band of three taotie motifs on a geometric cloud scroll and ruyi ground, with a later, 18th century, reticulated carved hardwood stand, the censer 29.5cm high, 20cm diameter Provenance: acquired by Sir Reginald Johnston, tutor to Puyi, last Emperor of China, between 1919 and 1924 and first Westerner to be given access to the Forbidden City; gifted to Johnston's fiancee, Eileen Power (engaged 1928-1935), later wife of Sir Michael Postan, the current vendor's direct predecessor.

Sold for: £4,400

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