A pair of equally elaborate phoenix in a similar composition but reserved against a lotus scroll ground and dated to the Jiajing period, illustrated in Laquerwares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 164, no. 123
It is extremely rare to find a mother-of-pearly inlaid lacquer decorated with birds from this early period; the majority of extent pieces are decorated with figures in landscapes (narratives of popular stories or plays, or historical figures), or elegant floral branches or detached sprigs.
Compare with the equally elaborate birds, this time cranes or egrets in flight above a lotus pond on a oval container dated to the Yuan dynasty in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Laquer Wares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 20, no. 13