The inscription may be translated:
Unworked jade from Jingshan,
In the shape of a Duan stone;
Carve it to use it,
from it graphs are born.
Jingshan was famous in the Warring States period for its reserves of choice jade. One of the most famous pieces of jade in Chinese history, the Heshibi, for which the King of Qin offered the King of Chu fifteen towns in exchange, was mined here. The inscription on the inkstone container alludes the beauty of the jade inkstone to that of Heshibi, while its form recalls that of a Duan stone, the favourite material for inkstones.