Like most late Shang and early Western Zhou ding, this large vessel has thick upright handles, a flat rim, deep body and pillar-like legs. According to Ma Chengyuan, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Hong Kong/New York, 1986, ding may have been used originally for cooking meat, but the elaborately decorated ones were more likely to have been for holding cooked meat.
The taotie-mask band and the masks at the tops of the legs on this large ding are stylistically very similar to the even larger bronze ding (55 cm. high) in the Idemitsu Collection, illustrated in Ancient Chinese Arts in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1989, pl. 1. On both the dragons that form the taotie masks are confronted on a flange, have short bodies, a backward-hooked tail and short legs terminating in clawed feet that flank the sides of the open jaws. The masks are not separated by flanges or any other decorative elements and are spaced neatly around the band. The masks at the tops of the sturdy, waisted legs also have ram's horns. Another example of similar size, body shape and with similar taotie band, but lacking the ram's horns in the leg masks, in the Hakutsuru Museum, is illustrated in Hakutsuru Kikkinshu, Kyoto, 1939.