Although the precise purpose of these objects is not known, they have been called sleeve weights.
For a similarly modeled gilt-bronze turtle, also holding a similar sea shell, excavated from a Western Han tomb at Bicun, Hungyuan county, in Shanxi province see, Wenwu, 1980, no. 6, p. 51, no. 6, fig. 27
Two smaller deer of this type with cowrie shell bodies, from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Myron S. Falk Jr., were included in the exhibition Arts of the Han Dynasty, Asia House, New York, 1961, catalogue, no. 57. See, also, Orvar Karlsbeck, "Selected Objects from Ancient Shou-chou", B.M.F.E.A., 1955, vol. 27, pl. 45, figs. 4a & 4b, for a gilt-bronze gazelle-form mount, minus the shell
Another smaller pair of deer lacking their antlers and with very degraded shell bodies, is illustrated in Ancient Chinese Arts in the Idemitsu Collection, Japan, 1989, no. 241