The seven-character inscription is extracted from a poem entitled 'Song Li Ba mi shu fu Du xiang gong mu, composed by the famous poet Du Fu (712-770) in the year 767 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In this poem, Du Fu refers to the political crises of the time and laments the demise of the Tang court. The characters 'wu yun' included in the inscription on the present lot may be translated as 'five clouds'. By alluding to the different forms of clouds in the sky and their erratic nature, Du Fu comments on the instability of the political situation at court. In a wider context, the theme of 'clouds' depicted on this jade box seems to provide a didactic reminder for one to be constantly aware of rapidly changing situations, and never rest on one's laurels.