The design of the tied brocade sash is associated with the Court and suggests precious objects, wrapped as if for presentation. It also symbolizes longevity through a pun on the Chinese characters for 'tied sash' and 'longevity.'
Loose rings and chains were a feature of Imperial jade carvings from the Qianlong period from which date large numbers of vessels with loose rings dangling from masks or strap handles. The period is also marked by an interest in snuff bottles in the shape of various fruits and vegetables, and in particular eggplants. These features, together with the extraordinary flawless white, highly translucent quality of the stone suggest production in the Palace workshops, although there is the possibility that it was carved for the Court at a distant jade-carving facility, such as Suzhou. The exceptional hollowing is another feature pointing to a Qianlong date, and particularly in relation to the post 1756 establishment of the Tibetan workshops in the Palace to produce Mughal-style jade carvings. Of the few known snuff bottles with the rather impractical feature of an integral stopper attached by a chain, this must certainly be one of the most spectacular examples of its type. The impracticality of the design, with its vulnerable, fragile chain, suggests that it perhaps was not intended to be carried about, but designed to stand on a desk.
In the past it was common to date highly-polished nephrite as very late, from the late Qing or Republican period. Recent scholarship has since shown it to be a standard option of finish from the Warring States period onwards. During the Qianlong period it can be no coincidence that some of the finest jade, of pure white color, was made for the Court that was finished to a higher gloss than less pure material, presumably to bring out its translucence, color and purity.