Hu Wenming was the most famous metalworker of the late Ming period. Two other parcel-gilt bronze covered boxes designed for holding powdered incense for the lighting of sandalwood chips bearing a Hu Wenming zhi mark have been published, one decorated with two birds perched on a blossoming prunus tree, the other with a flowering crab apple tree. Both are heavy and have a domed inner rim similar to that of the present box. This inner rim is to prevent the powder from being blown away when the cover is off. The first is illustrated in The Literati Mode, Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1986, no. 143, where the author, P. Moss, suggests that the floral motifs of these boxes 'refer to the fragrance of the powdered incense'; the second was included in the Oriental Ceramics Society exhibition, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 24 October-13 December 1986, no. 231.
Other similar boxes and covers with floral designs by Hu Wenming include a parcel-gilt bronze example decorated with Indian lotus sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 November 2011, lot 3176; another gilt-bronze example decorated with fans, fruit sprays and Buddhist emblems sold at Christie's London, 6 July 1995, lot 141.