The wood box bears the characters 'Nankin nishikide shishi futa moto kmoro' (Nanjing, overglaze-enamel lion-topped incense burner). 'Nankin' is the Japanese pronunciation of Nanjing, the point of export for such ceramics. However, these ceramics would have been made either in Jiangxi or Fujian, and the present example appears to be a product of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi. Its color scheme suggests that it was a precursor to the famille verte porcelains that would develop soon after. The geometric shape is closely related to other late Ming ceramics. See a Wanli mark and period blue and white square incense burner with mythical beast finial illustrated in A Special Exhibition of Incense Burners and Perfumers Throughout the Dynasties, Taipei, 1994, pl. 206, fig. 61. See, also, the related hexagonal container and cover painted in a similar style and palette with scenes of scholars and boy attendants, which also has a similar hollowed lion finial on the cover, illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, British Museum, 2001, p. 404, no. 12:130. As the lion finial is hollow, it is possible this vessel was also made for burning incense.