The angular contours of this vessel distinguish it from other vessels used to hold liquids for ceremonial use. Its large voluminous shape with a protruding belly and tapered neck make it suitable for storage as well. As opposed to the common hu, this vessel comes equipped with a decorative lid mounted with s-shaped images of animals, possibly of a snake or swan. A set of taotie masked handles are attached to two sides of the vessel. Traces of incrustation appear throughout. The Han Dynasty is known as the cultural blossoming period in Chinese history. Common belief held that if the way of the Sages was restored, then social order and moral uprightness of men could be acheived. Bronze vessels served an important role in the world of rites and ritual as well as in the realm of men who longed for expensive bronze ware to demonstrate their power and prestige.