The gui is a covered food container which first appeared in the Shang dynasty and became particularly popular during the Western Zhou period. By the latter period, further adaptation was made to the vessel's form in the addition of a square platform base. The present Qing dynasty cloisonne enamel vessel was most probably inspired by this type of Western Zhou bronzes. Compare with a larger example (40.7 cm. high) which is also modelled with a square platform base, dated to the Yongzheng period, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2006, lot 1288.