This small box once formed part of a large set of lacquer utensils, but was probably later used independently in the tea- or incense-ceremonies.
For related examples of Muromachi Period kogo see Jo Okada ed., Nihon no shitsugei 2 maki-e (Tokyo, 1978), cat. nos. 97-102.
Similar boxes are illustrated in Henri L. Joly and Kumasaku Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, Loan Exhibition Held in Aid of the British Red Cross (London, 1916), no. 75 and H. L. Joly, W. L. Behrens Collection, pt. II, Lacquer and Inro (London, 1912), cat. no. 98, pl. LXVII.