The lid was made between 500-400 BC, the base and the handle at a later date.
This type of vessel, called a dou in Chinese, was routinely cast during the Western Zhou dynasty (1050-771 BC) for use in ceremonies and death rituals. This elegant example from the later Eastern Zhou dynasty (771-221 BC) uses gold inlays to produce a delicate pattern of stylised interlacing dragons.
A close examination of the object and scientific tests have revealed that the lid is an original production dated about 500-400 BC, while the bottom half of the vessel and the lid handle were made in the 14th century or slightly earlier. This evidence supports the theory that this piece was conceived for an antiquarian or collector of the Song (960-1279) or Yuan (1279-1368) dynasty, following the taste for archaic objects developed during the Song period.