This charming box is characteristic of the flamboyant and colourful style that was favoured among the gentry class of the Tang and Liao dynasties. A circular box of this type, in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, is illustrated in William Watson, Tang and Liao Ceramics, London, 1984, pl. 187; and another box from the collection of K.C. Chung, was sold at Christie’s New York, 21st September 2001, lot 417. See also a green-glazed box included in the exhibition Sui To no Bijutsu [Arts of the Sui and Tang dynasty], Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, Osaka, 1976, cat. no. 144.
Its lobed shape and crisp linear decoration on this piece were probably inspired by silver ware with traced decoration. Furthermore the circular beads bordering the cover are reminiscent of pearl beading favoured in silver. A lobed silver box decorated with florets and attributed to the Tang dynasty, is illustrated in Duan Shu’an and Li Hong, Selected Treasures from Hejiacun Tang Hoard, Beijing, 2003, pl. 17.