The inscription tells us that the rhino-shaped vessel was made to commemorate a royal gift awarded after a successful military campaign. The twenty-seven characters read:
On the day dingsi [the 54th day of the sixty-day cycle], the King inspected the temple of Kui.
The King bestowed upon Xiaochen Yu cowry shells from Kui.
It was (the time when) the King returned from attacking the Renfang.
It was the King’s fifteenth sacrificial cycle, a day in the Yong-ritual cycle.