The boldly carved, triple-pommel scroll forming the lid of this vessel and its dramatically layered polychrome create a striking effect in a relatively small object. The style of cutting is in keeping with early ti-hsi
lacquer, evidenced by deep, wide-angle v-shaped grooves, alternating layers of black, red, and yellow, and a high polish. Lacquer of this type is rare and mostly confined to small objects datable between late Sung and early Ming.
The ti-hsi technique takes excellent advantage of the layering process necessary in the production of lacquer. By layering two or more contrasting colors, the widely angled carving creates a vibrant marbled effect along the sides of the cut edges. The designs were usually based on the pommel scroll motif: a symmetrical pattern of two linked spirals whose shape resembles that of ancient sword pommels.