The combination of shape and decorative features of this rare vessel appear to be unique amongst published examples of li. The diagonally positioned eyes, with the hook-shaped canthus and exaggerated extended outer corner, and the horns cast in relief are particularly distinctive.
A li of Shang date, from Shaanxi Hua Xian, illustrated by R. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, p. 479, fig. 89.2, shares legs similar to those of the present vessel, as well as similar horns cast in relief, which are part of what are more definitively bold taotie masks. On this vessel the hooked flanges are also bolder and larger. Similar horns cast in relief can also be seen on a li excavated in 1987 in Henan, Anyang province, and now in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing. See, Zhongguo Qingtongqi Quanji - 2 - Shang (2), Beijing, 1997, pp. 68-9, figs. 67-8. A related li, without the dramatic diagonally arranged horns cast in relief, is illustrated in Mostra d'Arte Cinese, Venice, 1954, no. 29. On another related li, illustrated by Chen Peifen, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Shanghai Museum, London, 1995, no. 24, the masks are formed by confronted dragons that are very similar in shape to the eyes of the present vessel, but the quills are placed above the dragons, not below.