The overtures to longevity probably indicate that boxes of this type were made for birthday celebrations or celebratory gifts given away by the emperor.
A similar box and cover in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Zhongguo Meishu Quanji, Beijing, 1989, vol. 8, Lacquer, pl. 172. Another is illustrated in Kaogu, 2, 1994, pl. 87, pl. 11; and another example in the Avery Brundage Collection, illustrated by H. Garner, Chinese Lacquer, p. 148, fig. 90.
For a Jiajing prototype, cf. Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Governmment Exhibits for the International Exhibition of Chinese Art in London, vol. IV, Miscellaneous, p. 8, fig. 4. It is interesting to note that Qianlong versions of this box are extremely similar to the Ming prototypes, suggesting that they were specifically commissioned to emulate the earlier quality and elaborate ulitisation of the different lacquer colours. For a further discussion of Qing lacquer, see Kaogu, 2, 1994, pp. 78-88.