The shape and decoration of this rare cloisonné vessel, are based on early bronze prototypes, especially those of Western Zhou dynasty date, such as the bronze gui on stand in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, shown in fig. 1. While the shape of the Sackler gui and its tall integral base are similar, the decoration of long-tailed birds is not. The taotie mask decoration of the cloisonné gui is of the type more usually found on Western Zhou bronze gui.
One other cloisonné enamel vessel in the form of a gui on stand of the same size (37 cm.), also with Qianlong mark and of the period is illustrated by Dr. G.G. Avitabile, Die Ware aus dem Teufelsand, Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt am Main, 1981, p. 150, no. 80. Both vessels are decorated with taotie masks, but the stand of the present vessel is taller with a plain gilt band dividing the masks on the stand, and the handles of the exhibited example are loops issuing from monster masks, rather than the more ornate dragon-form handles of the present vessel. The knops of the covers are also different. Both of these unusual vessels exhibit a more faithful representation of archaic themes than is usually seen in cloisonné enamel.