At the height of the Qianlong emperor's collecting activities, he amassed more than a million precious art objects, both from antiquity and by contemporary craftsmen. They filled imperial halls and palaces, while smaller objects such as snuff bottles and handling pieces were ordered and stored in boxes of many treasures, baibao he. These presentation boxes for the Imperial collections, were often art forms in themselves, produced in a variety of media including jade and lacquer, and constructed with compartments and drawers to house individual items. For a variety of such boxes, see the Catalogue to the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, exhibition One Hundred Pieces from the Palace Museum, 1990.
A single lacquer box of nearly identical design with slightly different handles and feet was sold in the Rooms, 28 November 2005, lot 1568. A further square lacquer box and cover with similar carved decoration, with the addition of a Qianlong mark was sold in these Rooms, 30 May 2005, lot 1349. A jade-inlaid zitan box of near identical design to the present boxes, with the drawers further divided into compartments for storing snuff bottles in the Palace Museum, Beijing, was included in the exhibition, Qing Legacies: The Sumptuous Art of Packaging, Macau Museum of Art, 2000, illustrated in the catalogue, pl. 65, p. 162.