The form of the duomuhu is relatively rare among cloisonne enamel wares. Two comparable cloisonne enamel tall ewers from the 17th century are published, one illustrated by H. Brinker and A. Lutz, Chinese Cloisonne: The Pierre Uldry Collection, Zurich, 1989, pl. 159; and the other, by Dr. G. G. Avitabile, Die Ware aus dem Teufelsland, Germany, 1981, pl. 59.
The duomuhu shape is derived from a Tibetan prototype, the bey lep, which was used for storing milk tea in Lamaist monasteries. It has a long history in China beginning in the Yuan dynasty when the religion first was adopted under Kublai Khan. A qingbai ewer of this form excavated from a Yuan site is now in the Capital Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Da Cidian, Ceramics, no. 614. The columnar Tibetan ewer does not appear to have been favoured during the Ming dynasty, even during reigns when Tibetan Buddhism flourished. However, during the Qing dynasty Kangxi Emperor, and his renewal of interest in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, vessels of this duomu ewer form appeared in metalwork and in porcelain, usually decorated with enamels. The Tibetan name for this type of vessel means 'container for butter', but they were also used for milk and wine.