The present mythical beast is in imitation of Warring States wine vessels that are decorated with inlaid silver and gold wires. It is interesting to note that archaic bronze shapes were reproduced in metalwork during the Song period as early bronzes were greatly admired by Emperor Huizong who himself had an extensive collection. The tradition of producing these archaic forms appears to have continued, albeit intermittently, well into the late Ming to early Qing period. For a comparable vessel, see H. Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, 1986, p. 154, no. 127, dated Song to late Ming dynasty.
The name Song Yi inscribed on the underbelly of the present animal is a designation of the artist and the name does not appear to have been published.