The busts are part of a hoard of 400 such figurines discovered on the Sino-Tibetan border. The busts were intended for official distribution to the outlying villages of the South East corner of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. They were shipped via Kunming to Lijiang, repacked into packhorse baskets, then transported by horse to Zhong Dian on the Yunnan/Tibet border. The baskets were placed in a storeroom in the police station, forgotten about and rediscovered after the 1998 earthquake destroyed the building.
This porcelain 'Official Issue' bust was the only sculptured image to be distributed to all official buildings throughout China.