This exquisite, small lapis lazuli boulder is the type of miniature scholar's article that might have graced a desk or table in the imperial palace, or have been included in one of the Qianlong Emperor's treasure boxes, such as those illustrated by Wen C. Fong and James C.Y. Watt in Possessing the Past: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996, pp. 550-52. The bright color and purity of the stone are similar to that seen in a lapis lazuli seal in the Qing court collection, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Small Refined Articles of the Study, Shanghai, 2009, p. 267, no. 264.