Two Qianlong cloisonné zun of the same shape, and very similar decoration to the current vessel are in the collection of the Palace Museum (see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 43 - Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 119, no. 115) and the Uldry Collection (see H. Brinker and A. Lutz, Chinesisches Cloisonné - Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 1985, no. 268). The Palace Museum zun is the same size as the current vessel, while the Uldry zun is slightly larger. Not only do all three share the same decorative scheme, they also share the same palette, with turquoise being used as the ground colour, and all have cast four-character Qianlong marks.
The inspiration for both shape and decoration comes from ancient bronzes, and the cloisonné craftsman has skilfully adapted the bronze designs to 18th century cloisonné style. A version of the leiwen motif found on ancient bronzes has been recreated using s-shaped squared spirals within the turquoise ground on the current zun, as well as in the narrow bands above and below the central globular section. The petals or blades on the neck contain motifs derived from the kui dragons of ancient bronzes. The central and lower sections bear masks derived from ancient taotie masks. Of all the three similar cloisonné zun the current vessel bears the most playful taotie-type masks. The eyes of the creature are particularly wide and framed by especially curly eyebrows, ensuring a complete lack of ferocity. While this vessel was undoubtedly part of the fashion for archaism in the Qianlong reign, it also demonstrates the skill with which the Qing craftsman has adapted an ancient style to a different technology and aesthetic.