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    Sale 7431

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    6 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 239

    A FAMILLE ROSE 'COIN' BOX AND COVER

    FIRST DECADE OF THE 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FAMILLE ROSE 'COIN' BOX AND COVER
    FIRST DECADE OF THE 19TH CENTURY
    Of circular shape with petal-moulded sides, the cover enamelled with a portrait of Charles IV of Spain in profile surrounded by an inscription and date, the underside of the base with a coat-of-arms and crown flanked by ribboned columns surrounded by another inscription, the interior of the box and cover with a chrysanthemum head
    2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) diam.


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    The design on the cover and the base of this box closely resembles a Spanish-American 8-real silver coin which is inscribed on the portrait side CAROLUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1808 and on the other side HISPAN ET IND REX ME 8R JP. This coin, called the Carolus dollar, was first minted in 1772 in Mexico City and depicted the head of Charles III of Spain. The portrait on the present box is closer to that of Charles IV, although the Chinese artist has omitted the fourth 'I' in the inscription and the last number of the date is unclear. The inscriptions on these porcelain boxes, and indeed on ivory netsuke and jade snuff-bottles also carved with the Carolus dollar, are frequently inaccurate and there are discrepancies from one box to another, suggesting that the Chinese artist may have copied another box rather than a coin. See a similar box, together with a blue and white version and the eight-real coin of 1808, which were exhibited Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics from The British Museum, London, Taipei, 1994, pp. 192 and 193, no. 83. Similar boxes to the present lot are in the Musée Guimet, Paris (M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, London, 1962, cat. 165), in the collection of Dr. Wesley Gallup, (J. McClure Mudge, Chinese Export Porcelain in North America, New York, 1986, colour plate 42, p.36). A similar box and cover was sold in these Rooms, 12 July 2005, lot 105.

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