||This unique vessel displays a technical perfection which proves that the artisans of Early Chou sometimes fully equaled their Yin predecessors in taste and skill. The usual division into four panels is suggested exclusively by the free animals' heads alternating, in the neck region, with the handles. The decor ground, of rounded and acute angled spirals, carries an eyed band with diagonals in the foot belt and antithetical tail-raising birds in flat relief on the belly. The crests of these extraordinary birds split up in three strands, the middle one a short, spearlike point; the other two forming long plumes, one falling staight down past the turned head and in front of the breast, the other going forward past (and parallel with) the beak, then rising in a bold sweep above the head and descending in two parts behind the first strand. Thus three parallel bands descend, the outer two adorned with rounded figures reminiscent of those of a peacock. For comment of these figures see Karlgren, number 29, 50.46.120. From the raised tail three bands descend in a fashion exactly similar to those of the crest. The animal's head on the handle has large tusks protruding at the sides. The hook on the bottom is reminiscent of the bird representation often seen on Kuei handles. patina pale green with patches of blue green. The meaning of the inscription is ' The King attacked Tsi-yu and went out and attacked Naohei. When he came [back], he made liao-sacrifice [burnt-offering] in Tsung Chou and presented to [me], Kuo Po X, cowries, ten double strings. [I] presume in response to extol the king's grace, and so I have made my accomplished dead father's precious Kuei vessel. May for a myriad years sons and grandsons forever treasure and use it.' For comment on the inscription, see Karlgren, number 36 (50.46.119). The birds on the Kuei have a clase parallel on a 'YU' in the Simitomo Collection (Senoku, Volume 2, Plate 67) and on a 'TSUN' in the Imperial Collection, but are, for the rest, unique. Mr. Loo stated that this vessel and the Tsun (50.46.120) were excavated during World War II in Shensi in the suburbs of Si-an-Fu (Ch'ang-an).