The design of birds in the narrow band below the midsection of this well-cast gu is very rare. It is also rare to find cicadas cast in the band at the base of the neck, since cicadas are more commonly found decorating the band below the midsection. Another very unusual feature of this gu is the narrow key-fret border cast in intaglio above the foot.
A gu cast with a band of very similar birds above the spreading foot, and with other similar decoration, is illustrated by N. Palmgren, Selected Chinese Antiquities from the Collection of Gustaf Adolf, Crown Prince of Sweden, Stockholm, 1948, pl. 101, with a detail of the birds on p. 137, fig. 297. Other comparable gu with similar cast decoration, but with the more commonly seen combination of serpents in the band at the base of the neck and cicadas in the band below the midsection, include two illustrated by W. Perceval Yetts, The Cull Chinese Bronzes, London, 1939, pls. VIII-IX, nos. 5-6; one illustrated by J. Pope et al., The Freer Chinese Bronzes, vol. 1, Washington, 1967, pl. 8, no. 8 (40.3); and one illustrated by J. Rawson, The Bella and P.P. Chiu Collection of Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1988, pp. 56-57.