The shape of the present vessel is based on that of jade rhytons that started appearing during the Song dynasty as an archaism of those of Han dynasty date, such as the example from the tomb of the King of Nanyue illustrated by J. Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, p. 70, fig. 61. This type of vessel continued into the Ming and Qing dynasties, but unlike the Han rhytons, the Song and later vessels show the cup being held in the jaws of a dragon head that forms the base, and often the inclusion of chilong clambering across a surface of archaistic scrolls. A Ming dynasty jade rhyton of this type is also illustrated by Rawson, p. 396, no. 29.8, and another dated Song/Yuan dynasty is illustrated by J. Rawson and J. Ayers in the catalogue for the O.C.S. exhibition, Chinese Jade throughout the Ages, London, 1975, no. 308. The present vessel is unusual in that it does not have a handle formed by a curling or twisted tail seen on the latter two rhytons and on the Han dynasty prototypes.