Zhou Ritual Censer
Full Resolution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenjchow/10129638704/sizes/o/
A horned dragon coils around the lid's ring handle.
Three tigers form a ring around the outer edges of the lid, eating from what appear to be mounds of homogenized and sacralized food.
I have found one other vessel with this exact design: http://imgur.com/k2TbhjN
Note that the base of that vessel is also identical.
Note the alignment of the ring with one of the tripod legs.
There are shapes here of every variety: circles, spirals, triangles, commas, crescents, claws.
There is a profusion of hard right angles and perpendicular lines at the base of these tripod legs. It is one of the many methods by which counterpoint is embedded into the design. The protruding spikes, beaks, and horns are also unique to the tripod legs, accentuating the ovoid and circular curves above and below.
The inscription has yet to be translated.
These four dragons support all of the vessel's weight with great delicacy. Note the square maze pattern on their bodies.
Acquired 2012-08-04 from Zhengzhou, China
Dimensions: 13" x 8"
Date Zhou Dynasty (in the manner of)
Type Bronze | Sculpture | Chinese | Vessel | Serpent | Zoomorphic