The pictogram cast in the base of the interior depicts three figures supporting a pole from which a banner flutters. This pictogram, which has been deciphered as the Chinese character lü ("a troop"), appears on a number of Shang bronzes.
A very similar hu of slightly smaller size (35.3 cm. high) dated to the middle Anyang period is illustrated in Ritual Bronzes in the National Palace Museum Collection, Taipei, 1998, pp. 372-3, no. 62. As with the present vessel, the main decorative band is flat-cast with two dragons with rounded eyes confronted on a narrow flange to create a taotie mask, and the dragon masks on the tubular handles are cast in relief.