Compare both the rendition of the scene and the style of the carving with a bamboo brushpot in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2001, p. 31, no. 30.
The pursuits of writing calligraphy, composing poetry and enjoying nature were prevalent among Ming dynasty scholar-officials. This is best illustrated in paintings such the 15th century handscroll entitled, Xingyuan Yaji Tu, 'The Elegant Gathering of the Apricot Garden' by the Court painter Xie Huan, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection, illustrated by C. Clunas, Fruitful Sites, Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, p. 81, no. 20. These pursuits prevailed into the late Ming and early Qing periods as exemplified by the current carving.