Two tool vases of nearly identical form but with slight variations in the decorative bands are illustrated by Paul Moss, Emperor, Scholar, Artisan, Monk, London, 1984, pp. 274-275, nos. 128 and 129. The use of such incense tool vases is described in the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong Exhibition, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, 1986, Catalogue, nos. 229, 230. They were commonly depicted in conjunction with incense burners and incense powder boxes. They are often shown containing a pair of metal chopsticks and a spade used in the preparation for burning incense.