Although bamboo carvings of deer-form cups are known, carvings of deer in the round appear to be extremely rare. A pair of deer-form cups are illustrated by H.L. Huang, The Exquisite Art of Bamboo Carving, Taipei, 2007, pp, 196-197. A carving of a recumbent horse in the National Palace Collection, Taipei rendered in a similar pose is illustrated in Masterpieces of Chinese Miniature Crafts in the National Palace Museum, Japan, 1971, col. pl. 10; compare also a stylistically similar carving of three rams in the Palace Museum, Beijing illustrated in The Palace Museum Collection of Elite Carvings, Beijing, 2002, no. 39.
The deer, as the only animal able to seek out the elusive lingzhi fungus, symbolises longevity. It is also homophonous with 'emolument' and 'road'. The representation of two deer together symbolises the wish for all roads to be smooth, Lulu shunli.