The theme of 'boys at play', popularised by the Southern Song dynasty Court official, Su Hanchen (active early 12th century), prevailed into the Ming period when the decorative design transferred onto ceramics and lacquerware. By the mid-Ming dynasty, the number of boys multiplied to form the 'hundred boys' theme, thus providing an auspicious image of fraternity. Lacquer objects with this amusing subject remained popular into the Qing dynasty, and the imagery found favour amongst boxes and hanging panels produced for the court. It is rare to find lobed boxes of such large size. Its landscape style and size are comparable to a large circular box and cover carved with a Daoist theme on the cover, sold in these Rooms, 30 May 2005, lot 1275.