The surface is chiseled in low relief with the exception of the protrudent animal masks and globular taotie eyes, with a density of patterns that matches the complexity of its ritual use. This ovoid container on a solid base and surmounted by a cylindrical neck is identified as a 'you'.
In terms of Shang ritual objects, the chronological mark is the tomb of Fu Hao, closed about 3,250 years ago and discovered untouched in 1976 with 1,800 objects in various materials that constitute a fabulous time capsule. Fu Hao was the consort of a Shang emperor who resided in the new 'Yinxu' capital of that dynasty in present-day Anyang.
The ovoid 'you' has no exact equivalent in Fu Hao's estate and is probably later. Like many other archaic bronzes, it is nevertheless a copy of ceramic wares that predate Yinxu. Its user friendly maneuverability looks obvious.
The shape of the pot is however comparable to the 'pou' without handle from the former collection of the Fujita Museum, of bigger size, which was sold for $ 27M including premium by Christie's on March 15, 2017. By the depth of its carving this 'pou' is considered as contemporary with Fu Hao.
SOLD for $ 1.94M including premium