Bronze vessel jue decorated with a band made of three rows of rounded and squared spirals and two rows of small circles. The two protruding elements in the centre of the band form a stylised version of the taotie motif. The caps are dome-shaped and decorated with whorl circles. A buffalo head is applied on the handle.
This vessel, known in China as jue, was mainly used during the Shang (1700-1050 BC) and Western Zhou (1050-771 BC) dynasties during the ritual celebrations of the ancestors. Bronze vessels were considered an important symbol of status and authority during the same period and were buried in the graves of their owners.
This example, dated between 1100 and 1000 BC, has a three character inscription under the handle: 'ju fu yi'; the last two graphs can be translated as 'Father Yi'. It was probably a dedicatory inscription connected with the execution of rites.