Known as yinse he, 'seal colour box', boxes of this type were part of the ba da ma, or 'Eight Great Numbers', and one of a set for the Imperial scholar's desk used for storage of cinnabar paste.
Similar examples of yinse he are illustrated by S. Valenstein, Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, pl. 138; in Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections, vol. II, col. pl. 28; in Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol 15, col. pl. 254, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, p. 141, pl. 124, from the Palace Museum, Beijing; and an example included in the special exhibition, K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng, Ch'ien-lung Porcelain, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 11, from the National Palace Museum, Taibei.