The theme of boy riding on a qilin provides the rebus qilin songzi, 'may the qilin bring you a son', a common wish for the perpetuation of many generations of sons. A pair of biscuit enamelled examples dated to Kangxi period which probably is a prototype of the present lot, from the Richard Bennett Collection, was sold at Christie's Cowdray Park sale, 13-15 September 2011, lot 447.
A similar censer of this subject formerly in the T.B. Kitson Collection, but with the body of the animal picked out in white rather than turquoise, was sold at Sotheby's London, 7 June 1967, lot 268. Another slightly smaller pair (35 cm. length) was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 2 November 1999, lot 808.