This box would have been used to contain food in the various compartments. No other box and cover of this design appears to have been published, although there are a number of other pieces with variations on it.
Cf. two Wanli wucai boxes of comparable shape and size, with domed covers surmounted by finials, one from the Tokyo National Museum decorated with dragons and phoenix, and the other from the Idemitsu Museum of Art showing dragons, butterflies and floral designs, both illustrated in Imperial Overglaze-Enamelled Wares in the Late Ming Dynasty, Osaka, 1995, pls. 30 and 31 respectively. A rectangular wucai box from the Wanli period, with dragons and pierced cash symbols on the cover is also published ibid., pl. 33.
Compare the present lot with circular boxes decorated with dragons and pierced cash symbols on the cover but in a different configuration. A Wanli wucai box with dragons enamelled within shaped cartouches, from the Museé Cernuschi, Paris, is illustrated by D. Lion-Goldschmidt, La Porcelaine Chinoise, Fribourg, 1978, fig. 229. A blue and white version of this box and cover was included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition, Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T. Y. Chao Family Foundation, Hong Kong, 1978, and is illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 25.