The inspiration for both the shape and decoration of the present lot is taken from ancient Chinese ritual bronze vessels. The petals on the neck contain motifs derived from the kui dragons of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, and the central and lower sections are carved with Qing interpretations of ancient taotie masks. While this vessel was undoubtedly part of the fashion for archaism in the 18th century, it also demonstrates the skill with which the Qing craftsman adapted an archaic style to a different technology and aesthetic.
Compare a Qianlong-marked green jade fanggu with petals on the spreading neck and foot, and also carved with a taotie mask amidst notched flanges on the waist, illustrated by Yang Boda, et. al., A Romance with Jade: From the De An Tang Collection, Beijing, 2004, p. 187, no. 122.