The shape indicated that it was a gui vessel, designed to hold food.
Collecting guide: Chinese archaic bronzes
The total length of the inscriptions on this set was almost 2, characters. Inscription on the Song dingc. Inscriptions on Shang bronzes are of a fairly uniform style, making it possible to discuss a "Shang bronze script", although great differences still exist between typical characters and certain instances of clan names or emblems. They are, like their Shang predecessors in all media, often irregular in shape and size, and the structures and details often vary from one piece of writing to the next, and even within the same piece. Some flexibility in orientation of graphs rotation and reversibility continues in the Western Zhou, but this becomes increasingly scarce throughout the Zhou dynasty. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.