This is one of a series of apparently mid-Qing lacquer bottles of a distinctive style, and may be the mid-Qing continuation of a well-known, eighteenth-century Imperial group. See other examples in Chinese Snuff Bottles. A Miniature Art from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, nos. 262 and 263. The subject of the fenghuang as the main decoration, making it emblematic as opposed to representing any particular myth in which the bird may figure, suggests that it was made for the Court, since this bird came, by the Qing dynasty, to represent the Empress.