The interior of the cover of the box has Xu Hanqing's collection seal and an inscription that states that the jade is from the Six Dynasties period and was excavated from Zhejiang province, but the carver, Jian Gui, is unknown. A further inscription on the interior of the box states that the jade was made for the headdress of an empress or imperial concubine.
This unusual ornament is very similar to a white jade ornament dated to the Song dynasty illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 41 - Jadeware (II), Hong Kong, 1995, no. 59.
According to Teresa Tse Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006, p. 160, the auspicious motif of the phoenix paying homage to the sun "symbolizes all the good things in life".