The form of the present lot is based on ritual vessels of the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1100-771 BC), such as the bronze yi sold in these rooms, 21 September 2000, lot 167. While the ancient bronze prototypes typically have four short legs rather than an oval foot, it is interesting to note the similarity of the elaborately cast dragon-form handle on the Western Zhou example to the carving on the handle on the present vessel. Compare the yi-form vessel carved from stone of similar color dated to the early Ming dynasty in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Liu Yang and E. Capon, Translucent World, Chinese Jade from the Forbidden City, p. 144, no. 89. Unlike the present example, which is carved with archaistic designs, the Palace Museum example is carved in shallow relief on the exterior with leafy lychee branches.