This magnificent box exemplifies the skillful manipulation of differently colored lacquer layers to produce striking decoration. The border of butterflies in flight amidst melons on scrolling vines enclosing the central medallion also appears on a similarly dated carved red lacquer box and cover in the Palace Museum, illustrated in Carved Lacquer Ware, Beijing, 2008, p. 282, pl. 191.
A very similar double-sided circular red lacquer box carved with the 'hundred boys', shown chasing a kui, riding hobby horses, and playing music, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 46 - Lacquer Wares of the Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 2006, pp. 18-19, pl. 10. In the game wuzi doukui, meaning 'five sons contesting for kui', boys chase a figure carrying a brush. Whoever obtains the brush will be successful in his civil service examinations. The auspicious scene, in combination with the theme of 'hundred boys,' suggests the hope for successful male heirs.