Catalogue entry no. 522a by Max Loehr:
522 Pair of Winged Oval Cups
The nearly identical cups are carved of olive and grayish green translucent jade with deep brown and dark green patches; the surfaces are polished to a high gloss. The fact that one cup (a) is perfectly preserved on the inside while the other (b) is so on the outside suggests, as already noted by Salmony, that the latter piece was stacked onto the first at the time of burial. The exposed sides have assumed a bone-colored appearance but have largely retained their glossy surface. The shape of these cups agrees with that of the Waring States and Han cups in bronze, pottery, and lacquer—less precious as media, and less magnificent in workmanship.
The outside walls are covered with a pattern of interlocked relief spirals whose size decreases in accordance with the contraction of the vessel bodies. In the middle of the long sides this pattern is interrupted by exquisitely designed masks of feline character. Above this zone runs a border frieze with large T -spirals and with feline heads in profile which adjoin and face the lateral wings. These wings, which rise from the border with subtly hollowed undersides, are ornamented in openwork: simple spirals that flank a T -spiral are cut out by drilling and possibly by sawing. The rest of the décor is incised; on the outer bottom, to both sides of a beautifully finished longitudinal ridge, are two attenuated bird figures; on the interior bottom, two similarly elongated and elegant S -curves crossing withing an oval frame.
Although the foregoing description fits both vessels, a close examination reveals certain differences in design as well as execution. In the second vessel b , the interlocked spirals are less dense and flatter; a caesura painstakingly worked out on the narrow sides of a is disregarded in b . The animal mask on b is plainer and again, flatter, as are the profile feline heads in the upper border. Most noticeable is the difference of the engraved bird ornament on the outer bottom, which in b has lost the delicate balance and rhythm seen in a . Even the ridge is more pronounced and slightly too visible in b . The likely conclusion to draw is that the second piece, lacking the consummate mastery of the first, was made as a matching vessels by a master of less raffinement .
Credibly reported to have come from Chin-ts’un near Lo-yang, the cups are likely to date from late Eastern Chou.