Robb Design Portfolio: Party Animal

<< Back to Robb Report, March 2008

It might look like a pig, but this bronze, 2,500-year-old Chinese wine vessel actually takes the form of a tapir, an animal related to horses and hippos. "Tapirs were extinct in China then, but they were possibly imported from other parts of Asia," says James Hennessy of Little-ton and Hennessy (+44.20.7930.0888, www.littletonandhennessy.com), the London gallery that sold the item for $12 million last year. The 17-by-10-inch vessel likely was employed at large banquets, where servers would have dispensed wine through the animal’s mouth. "[The vessel] showed the opulence, wealth, and power of the banquet-giver," Hennessy says. "It must have looked amazing when it was first produced." rel="nofollow" A craftsman decorated the tapir with gold and turquoise; the iridescent green highlights are places where the bronze has reacted to the atmosphere and is showing its age.

This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Tom Forsyth and Ron Jarrell
With more than 275 million game sets sold in the past century, Monopoly is the most popular board...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
Paola Russo discovered two decks in Italy at G. Lorenzi, one covered in gold leaf and the other in...
When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…