The original function of this plaque would have been ornamental, set most probably on a piece of furniture as inferred by the openwork style of carving and remnants of drill holes. The motif of paired birds with entwined necks features on a number of carved ivory works from sixteenth century Sri Lanka, notably in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (inv. no.Nr. KK 4745, see Gschwend and Beltz 2010, pp.72-3, no.19). Similar entwined birds (referred to by Pedro Carvalho as 'geese') with ornate tails also feature on the front of a magnificent gem-set casket in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (inv. no.1993.29), attributed to Sri Lanka, probably Kotte, circa 1550 (Carvalho 2008, pp.24-5, no.1).