The figure may possibly represent Wenchang, the deity of literature and scholarly endeavors, who was widely worshipped by the literati, particularly by candidates in the civil service examinations. Wenchang is often portrayed as a scholar official, with a long moustache and beard, dressed in a dragon robe. On a Ming dynasty hanging scroll titled Wenchang, the God of Literature, by Ding Yunpeng, in the British Museum, illustrated by S. Little, Taosim and the Arts of China, Chicago, 2000, no. 89, p. 267, Wenchang is depicted wearing a peony on his hat. The hat of the present figure is also adorned with a flower.