This cabinet is decorated in the kehui, or incised ash, technique, in which a grey undercoat is lacquered over with black, carved until the grey undercoat shows through, and then painted with brightly coloured lacquer. The term Coromandel, refers to the area of coastline in East India from where the English East India Company operated trading posts, exporting this type of lacquer from central and northern China to Europe during the 17th century. In England the technique was copied and became known as 'Bantam-work' after the Dutch colony Batavia in Indonesia, from where this type of lacquer may have originally been exported.
A similar pair of caskets, dating to the mid-17th Century, with Portuguese-style mounts and floral decoration on the drawers inspired by printing block designs, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum and illustrated by Craig Clunas et al., Chinese Export Art and Design, London, 1987, pl. 62, p. 81. See also Clunas, op.cit., 1987, pl. 63, p. 83 for another, larger cabinet decorated on the interior with similar blue and green 'Tang' style landscape scenes which relates to the decoration of the present cabinet.