The inscription carved on the head of the scepter may be read, dajixiang (great auspiciousness). The auspicious phrase fugui shoukao is inscribed in two halfs on the underside of the head. The top of the shaft is inscribed renshou (benevolence and longevity) followed by a poem by the late Tang dynasty poet Du Mu (803-852) titled Ji Yangzhou Hanchuo pangguan. A two-character inscription near the end of the shaft reads Chen ji (mark of Chen). The reverse of the shaft is inscribed in the center, jixiang ruyi divided by a two-character seal jixiang (auspiciousness), and is further inscribed with a couplet by Lu Shiyi (1784-1855), a scholar-official and calligrapher of the Jiaqing and Daoguang periods. Near the end of the shaft is a date corresponding to the third month of the jiazi year (possibly corresponding to 1864), and a signature, Ziyang shanren, which is possibly the courtesy name of Xu Gu (1824-1896), a Qing dynasty painter who formerly served as a general, and later became a monk due to his unwillingness to help quell the Taiping Rebellion.
Compare the boxwood ruyi scepter of this naturalistic type illustrated by G. Tsang and H. Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Oriental Ceramic Society, Hong Kong, 1986, pp. 42-3, no. 6.