It is very rare to find a cloisonné enamel gu vase decorated with the Bajixiang motif, and the current vase is very likely to have been part of a five-piece altar set placed in a Buddhist temple within the palace. A number of cloisonné vessels of other forms with this Buddhist decoration have been published, including the alms bowls and plates illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum - Enamels (2) - Cloisonne in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beijing, 2011, pls. 260-261, 287-289. Compare also to a censer, similarly decorated with the Bajixiang borne on lotus blooms and archaic scrolls as on the present vase, dated to the early 18th century and illustrated by C. Brown in Chinese Cloisonné - The Clague Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, 1980, pl. 43.
Since its introduction into China via Tibetan Buddhism during the Yuan dynasty, the Bajixiang motif represented a significant element in Chinese decorative arts. A small number of Ming cloisonné enamel works bearing this design are known, including a floral bowl and a large jar illustrated by H. Brinker and A. Lutz in Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1989, nos. 77 and 92. Another interesting piece is a six-lobed dish, dated to the early 17th century, in the Uldry Collection, featuring the Bajixiang surrounding a yin-yang symbol on the interior, op. cit., no. 132.