The Hehe Erxian, or the Two Immortals of Harmony and Unity, were believed to preside over happy marriages. The two deities originated from famous poet-monks of the Tang dynasty (618-906), Hanshan and Shide. In later Ming and Qing dynasty depictions, these two figures often appear as young boys. The imagery of the lotus and the box each form the same homophone, he: the first meaning 'harmony' and the second, 'unity'.
Compare with a very similar but slightly smaller group attributed to the early 18th century illustrated by Sydney Moss, Between Heaven and Earth, London, 1988, no. 21; and another similar but larger example is illustrated by L. Tam and Ip Yee, Chinese Bamboo Carving, Part I, Hong Kong, 1978, pp. 414-415, no. 138.