A zhi was a ritual wine vessel in a form which was inherited by the Zhou dynasty from its predecessors, the Shang, and was commonly found until about 900 BC. A few of these vessels have handles. This piece has distinctive cast horns. Inside, cast in the centre, is a six-character inscription which reads: Zhen zuo fugui zun yi, or This vessel, dedicated to Father Gui, was made by royal commission.
Ritual wine vessel, zhi Early Western Zhou dynasty (about 1050-771 BC) © Compton Verney