The pictograph cast inside the foot is gao ('to announce') within a yaxing. Another bronze gu with a gao inscription excavated from a Shang dynasty tomb at Anyang, Henan province, in 1969, is illustrated in Henan chutu Shang Zhou qingtongqi, Beijing, 1981, vol. 1, pl. 242.
As is usual with ancient Chinese bronzes, similar decorative patterns are used in an interchangeable manner, and sometimes with the decoration appearing identical, but there are almost always slight differences. This is true of the similar decoration found on this vessel and three other bronze gu that have been published. One illustrated by J.A. Pope, et al., The Freer Chinese Bronzes, vol. 1, Washington, DC, 1967, no. 8, pl. 8; one in the Art Institute of Chicago, illustrated by C.F. Kelly and Ch'en Meng-Chia, Chinese Bronzes from the Buckingham Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1946, pl. 12; and another illustrated by J. Rawson, The Bella and P.P. Chiu Collection of Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1988, no. 14. All of these similar vessels share the same elegant form and fine, crisp casting.