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 our London Rooms, 6 November 2007, lot 239.