According to the tablets inscribed in Chinese, the book was dedicated on the sixteenth day of the twelfth month of jiashen year (1644), the first year of the reign of Shunzhi, by the obedient son, Emperor Fulin (personal name of the Emperor), to his father, Emperor Huangtaiji, and confers a posthumous title on him. The Manchu inscription is a transliteration of the Chinese text.
Although historical records indicate jade books were made as early as the Tang dynasty, it appears that the earliest surviving ones date from the mid-17th century. A complete set of ten jade tablets dated to the Shunzhi period in the Chester Beatty Library has been published by W. Watson and Dr. H.L. Mish in Chinese Jade Books in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 1963, p. 35. It is dated to the fifth year of the Shunzhi period (1648), and dedicated to his Imperial Ancestor Qing Wang, and confers a posthumous title on him. The two tablets inscribed with the posthumous title in Chinese and Manchu are illustrated pl. 8. The front and back tablets of the Chester Beatty books are, like the present book, engraved with dragons contesting a flaming pearl.
Jade books of this type, with text in Chinese and Manchu, continued to be made in the Qing dynasty, to commemorate the achievments of a deceased emperor or to confer a title on a late sovereign or member of the imperial family. Such a set of tablets, completed in the first year of the reign of Qianlong (1736), which honors the Emperor Shunzhi (1638-1661), in the collection of the Shenyang Palace Museum, is illustrated in Life of the Qing Dynasty, The Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1989, p. 28, where they are shown with their original yellow silk mounts and gold lacquered storage chests. As with the present book (tablets), and those in the Chester Beatty Library, the inscriptions are in Chinese and Mandarin, and the front and backs have similar engraved dragon decoration.