The present box is exceptional for its large size, intricately carved decoration and unusual shape, with no other box like it recorded. The decoration encompasses a myriad of auspicious meanings, suggesting that it might have been made for a birthday or a similar special occasion, and because of its rarity, it is also likely that the box was commissioned specially.
The shape of the box is that of a ruyi, which means 'as you wish', thus a suitable image for a birthday. The birthday wishes are reinforced by the longevity symbols on the border, the central peach spray and the five bats on the cover which represent the Five Blessings of happiness, health, wealth, the love of virtue and a peaceful death. Among the other fruits and flowers depicted, the finger citron symbolises wealth, the gourd and pomegranate progeny, the lotus purity, and the peony represents Spring as well as wealth and rank.