The inscription carved on the cover of the box reads, Zhou cong (Zhou [dynasty] cong), followed by, Taozhai cang (treasured by Taozhai). The blue silk interior of the box bears a seal reading, Taozhai zhi ying (seal of Taozhai).
Zhao Yang (1713-1786), whose sobriquets include Taozhai, Zhongyi, Xixin Zhai, Xixin Jushi, Ju Ba Yuan, and Qing Hua Ge, was the son of a Chinese father and Japanese mother, and served briefly as a monk at a temple in Nagasaki. At the age of twenty-eight he left monastic life in order to travel and pursue the craft of carving, in which he is known to have excelled.
Compare the similar cong of larger size (8.3 cm. square), in the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Complete Treasures of the Palace Museum - 40 - Jadeware (I), Hong Kong, 2005, p. 36, no. 31,