The design on the cover and the base of this box closely resembles a Spanish-American silver coin which is inscribed on the portrait side CAROLUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1808 (Charles IV, by God's grace, 1808) and on the other side HISPAN ET IND REX ME 8R JP (King of Spain and the Indies, an abbreviation of 8 reals, and the mintmaster's initials). 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, illustrated by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, London, 1962, cat. 165; in the collection of Dr. Wesley Gallup, illustrated by J. McClure Mudge, Chinese Export Porcelain in North America, New York, 1986, colour plate 42, p.36 together with a dollar coin of 1785; and another box is illustrated by A. Palmer, A Winterthur Guide to Chinese Export Porcelain, 1976, fig.51, p.87. A similar box and cover was sold in these Rooms, 16 November 1998, lot 467.