China, Warring States period (ca. 475-221 BC). Bronze with gold and silver inlays, partly with green patina. Tall vessel in the shape of a bird-like mythical creature with hooked beak and articulated crest. The head as the cover, the casting-openings in the feet unsealed. The feathers and the head with rich ornamental relief, including several metal-inlays. At the back an additional figural inlay, probably also depicting a bird. The neck and the chest with fine lined scales-decoration. A small dog-like beast underneath the figurine as an additional support. Min. rest. to the body. H. 35,5 cm. - Ritual bronze vessels in animal-shape belong to the artistic highlights of the Zhou-dynasty. Especially well known are examples in the shape of elephants, tapirs or rhinoceroses. The bird-shape of the present piece can be traced back to earlier Shang-dynasty bronzes, like they were found in Anyang, Henan (See: Song Li, Chinese Bronze Ware, Cambridge 2011, p. 53). The bronze here is closely related to the bronze birds of Baoji (Westen Zhou-dynasty) regarding the three-legged composition and the articulated beak (See: Zhongguo Meishu Quanji; Diaosu Bian (The Great Treasury of Chinese Fine Arts; Sculpture), Beijing 1988, vol. 1, p. 84, no. 113). Als compare the above bronze-bird to a very similar ritual bronze in the coll. Of the Freer-Sackler Galleries, Washington DC. The elaborate decoration with silver- and gold-inlays is characteristic for the Warring States-period (See: So/Hearn, The Great Broze Age of China: An Exhibition from the People"s Republic of China, Metropolitan Museum New York , pp. 305-311). - Prov.: Rare Chinese Bronzes and Works of Art from an important private collection in France (Lot 700 - 721). The following group of bronzes, ceramics and jade objects are part of an old noble collection in Southern France. The collection has been assembled since the 19th cent. By an art-minded entrepreneur and has been in the estate of the family by descent ever since. The family kept manifold private and commercial relations to China and was able to build up an exquisite and important collection. A selection of these marvelous objects is now being offered and is available to the global art market for the very first time. The objects demonstrate the fascination for Chinese and Asian Art and the collecting passion of an intellectual gentleman and connoisseur.