The imagery of this plaque, with its sensitively carved figures in a rocky landscape filled with trees and swirling clouds, is characteristic of the decorative arts of the Ming and early-Qing period such as woodblock illustrations, blue-and-white porcelain and carved works of art. Compare a plaque similarly carved with figures in landscape on both sides, depicting the 'four occupations' of fishing, wood gathering, farming and scholarship, but within an frame of sinuous qilong, illustrated in James C.Y. Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, pl. 60.
As the jade plaque pendant did not become popular until the late Ming dynasty, it is doubtful whether Lu Zigang (active in the second half of the 16th century) ever carved a plaque like the present piece. However, his expertise in the medium of carving saw his name become synonymous with the finest carved white jades, and many of the jades produced a century after his death bore his 'signature'. These plaques are now referred to as 'Zigang plaques'; compare a similar piece depicting a scholar and attendant in a landscape under a similar swirling sky and inscription on the reverse, from the Zhirouzhai Collection, included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1996, cat. no. 201b, and sold in these rooms, 8th October 2008, lot 2348.