An inscription on the wood box includes the date, 4th year of Enpo (1676).
The present dish belongs to a distinct group of carved lacquer wares known as 'two-bird' dishes. Although the species of birds and flowers vary from dish to dish, they are almost invariably decorated with the same compositional layout of two birds in flight amidst a floral background on the interior, while on the exterior is a band of classic scroll or 'fragrant scroll', xiangcao.
The type of decoration and style of carving on this dish is similar to that of a black lacquer dish with red ground, of larger size (32.5 cm.), dated to the Yuan dynasty, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, The Colors and Forms of Song and Yuan China: Featuring Lacquerwares, Ceramics and Metalwares, Nezu Institute of Fine Arts, Tokyo, 2004, no. 86. The flowers on this dish appear to be camellias rather than the peonies of the present dish.