Finials of this type are believed to have been used crowning ceremonial poles or weapons, possibly together with a matching ferrule to cap the foot. The present finial, with its intricate design of a mythical beast on top, is extremely rare. No other comparable examples appear to be published. See a related Warring States gold and silver-inlaid finial, in the form of a bird perching on top of a dragon head, included in the exhibition "Animal Style" Art from East to West, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1970, cat. no. 74; another finial, made of gold, in the form of a dragon head, from the collection of Frank Caro, exhibited in Mostra d'arte Cinese [Exhibition of Chinese art], Venice, 1954, cat. no. 101. Most extant examples of this type are bird-form finials, such as one exhibited in Ausstellung Chinesischer Kunst [Exhibition of Chinese art], Berlin, 1929, cat. no. 74; one from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection, sold together with its matching ferrule in these rooms, 19th March 2002, lot 99; one from the Erwin Harris Collection, sold at Christie's New York, 16th March 2017, lot 871; two sold at Bonham's, one in New York, 16th March 2015, lot 2001, and the other in London, 12th May 2016, lot 6; and another in the National Museum of History, Taipei, acc. no. 86-00103.