Jenny So noted in Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes, from The Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Vol. 3, New York, 1995, p.156, that vessels of this sparsely decorated type have been unearthed in excavations in Shanxi and Henan. One of the ding is reported to have its legs cast hollow, like that of a li, and the legs filled in afterwards. The example in the Kaogu Xuebao, 1984-4, pp.507-508, excavated in the Changzi county, Shanxi, is very similar to the present example in that it also has bands of decoration around the cover and the body, three buffaloes on the cover, and loose ring handles on the cover and two sides of the body. The taotie masks on either side of the body are also very similarly cast. The present lot, however, does not have the raised band under the masks, and the motif on the band decoration is also different.
Compare also the example excavated in Taiyuan, Shanxi, illustrated in Wenwu, 1989-9, pp.64 and 66, which has more elaborate designs on the body and a raised band under the masks.