Bronze container in the form of an owl, with a removeable head. The short-eared owl stands on its four-toed feet without support. The plumage details are partly seal pattern, partly thunder-scroll diaper, with a monster mask on the breast and an ox-headed serpent outlining the border of each wing.
This figure of an owl represents a type of ritual bronze vessel called zun, used for storing wine in tombs in order that the dead could continue offering sacrifices to the gods and ancestors. Bronze was one of the most important of the many materials used for grave goods. Good burials showed gratitude to the spirits of the universe and established the reputation of the dead ones in the afterworld.