The yintse he is also known as 'seal colour box' or 'vermillion box' since some examples still contain traces of ink-paste for which they were made.
The seal box forms one of the ba da ma or 'Eight Great Numbers', among the most sophisticated and distinguished of all Imperial porcelains made for the Emperor's writing table. The extremely desirable peachbloom glaze is found exclusively on the eight shapes that make up the set and was not known on other forms, although certain examples are sometimes unaccountably designated as such.
A similar example from the Jingguantang Collection was sold in our Hong Kong Rooms, 3 November 1996, lot 557. Others are illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1975, pl. 138; in Oriental Ceramics, Kodansha Series, vol. 11, col. pl. 28 and Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 15, col. pl. 254, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, p. 141, col. pl. 124, from the Palace Museum, Beijing; in the Special Exhibition of Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong Porcelain, no. 11, from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and also in the Special Exhibition of Monochromes, no. 7