It is rare to find boxes of this form, and their exact function remains unknown. However, they are usually believed to be containers to store the pawns for the game of weiqi. See a carved Yaozhou box and cover in the Shaanxi Archaeology Institute which is referred to as a weiqi box, published in Zhongguo taoci quanji [Complete series on Chinese Ceramics], Shanghai, 1999-2000, vol. 7, pl. 132. Compare as well a Yaozhou celadon ‘peony’ box and cover, sold in these rooms, 3rd October 2017, lot 2, from the Le Cong Tang collection; and a Southern Song Qingbai drum-form jar and cover, sold at Christie’s New York, 22nd March 2018, lot 533, from the Linyushanren collection.