The pictograph cast in the interior is a clan sign.
A ding dating to the 12th-11th century BC with a similarly cast band of cicadas and taotie masks, though without decoration on the legs, is illustrated by R. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Washington, DC and Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987, pp. 480-81, no. 90. Compare, also, the liding in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated by M. Loehr in Ritual Vessels of Bronze Age China, The Asia Society, New York, 1968, pp. 68-9, no. 26. Loehr has classified the Victoria and Albert liding as Shang, Style IV, placing it earlier than this piece at 1300 BC. Another similar ding, also with cicada bands and a very similar depiction of the taotie mask, is illustrated by M. Hearn in Ancient Chinese Art: The Ernest Erickson Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987, p. 32, no. 6.
Compare a very similar ding, also dated to the 12th-11th century BC, from the Falk Collection, sold in these rooms, 20 September 2001, lot 166.