It is extremely rare to find European and Central Asian subjects as the main decorative subject in lacquer wares, although a few related examples are known. A conjoined circular box in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, depicts a similarly dressed foreigner on horseback followed by his attendant, the lobed sides are carved with a very similar scroll and suggest that the box was made in the same workshop at the same period. The box bears a Qianlong six-character gilt mark and an inscription Shuang Lu Bao He, 'Doubly Auspicious Treasure Box ' and is illustrated in Gugong Qiqi Tezhan Mulu, A Special Exhibition of Lacquerwares in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1981, no. 68 and again in the special exhibition catalogue, Emperor Chien-lung's Grand Cultural Enterprise, Taipei, p. 56, pl. I-45. While another named box Long Feng Bao He, 'The Dragon and Phoenix Treasure Box' of similar form carved with a related subject is illustrated in Zhongguo Gudai Diaoqi Jindi Yishu Zhi Yanjiu, 'The Study of Ancient Chinese Brocade-Ground Carved Lacquer, p. 308. A third box of begonia form carved to the top with a standing European figure most probably holding peacock feathers and inscribed Zhi Yun Bao He, 'Precious Box of Zhi Yun, was sold Christie's Hong Kong, 29 April 2002, lot 576.
It is interesting to note that in every example cited, including the present lot, the foreign figures are carrying precious objects and these probably represented tribute bearers from afar bringing gifts to the Qing court.