The artist intentionally disregarded rich decoration on exterior on it despite of prevailed tradition of that era and gave it most realistic look with unattractive greenish scalloped cloud scrolls. Bronze was the metal for sacred objects; thus, ritual vessel in rhino shape is not metallic or gold.
This Bronze Liquor or food containing vessel in the shape of rhinoceros is placed in Asian Art museum of San Francisco. Bronze rhino has all the peculiarities of a real animal standing with alert ears, four short but sturdy legs, tiny tail and the biggest dropping tummy shows the weight of it. Likewise, the front horns, smooth and thick skin depict the strength of the animal. Its color is dirty dark grey with greenish cloud scrolls and is well shaped like the animal (rhino). Moreover, it entails a large inscription inside and unattractive décor (opposite of the present tradition of that era in which exterior was decorated richly and inscription was the shortest). It’s length and breadth is 23cm and but height is 33 cm.
The skin of the rhino is significantly covered with raised patterns of scalloped cloud scroll. These patterns give it an artistic yet realistic touch. The texture on the body of rhino container is mesmerizing as it transforms a typical animal shaped vessel into a creative and admired piece of art. Animals like tiger, dragoon and rhinoceros were considered a sign of strength and protection in ancient China. Thus, Chinese rituals significantly entail the strength and spirit of these animals. Moreover, rhino’s skin was used as armor by Chinese soldiers and its horn were used for ornaments and various purposes (19, Corlett). The armor made from their skin was deemed to contain strength and power of it.
In ancient China, Wine keeping vessels were known as Zun or gui and these animal shaped vessels were often kept for ceremonial or ritual use only. This piece of art was found by a Shandong farmer, while plowing in his field